News release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has received a report of an email scam targeting local residents.
In the email, the sender writes that the victim’s computer has been hacked and their webcam activated without the victim’s knowledge. The email goes on to say that the hacker has video of the victim accessing adult websites and will distribute that video to the victim’s contact list if the victim doesn’t send a large amount of bitcoin to the hacker.
According to one local resident, she received this email as a reply to a Craigslist posting, making it likely that other local Craigslist users may have received a similar email threat.
This email is a blackmail scam that has been circulating the nation over the past year. In some variations of the scam, the sender is able to provide a password you have used or are currently using, making the scam more realistic.
The Sheriff’s Office encourages the public to never send bitcoin, gift cards, cash, or wire money, after receiving a blackmail-type email. Please report scam emails and phone calls to your local law enforcement, as well as the FTC or the FBI.