Since 2018 a lot of people are receiving extortion emails with claims of hacked webcams and computers. Almost all of them contain some of the following elements:

• Your name is mentioned
• An (old) password is mentioned
• A few digits of your phone number
• They claim to have compromising images/video from you taken via your webcam
• They threaten to send the images/ video to your friends, family and work
• Demanding to pay bitcoins

Look here for e-mail extortion samples on our blog

99,9% chance it’s fake, don’t fall for it.

It might feel scary at first, after all you are mentioned by name, email and you might recognize a (old) password. Consider the fact that extortion without providing any real evidence (image/video) is not really effective. However the recognition of a pass word might feel like real evidence that you computer (and webcam) has been hacked. Your pass word is probably obtained during data breaches of LinkedIn and Facebook in the past.

• Do not reply or engage in any way
• Check if you pass word appears in any data breach in the past on Have I Been Pwned
• If your account appears, change your password on all accounts containing this password
• If you truly believe you have been hacked, contact the police

How to keep safe?
• Use long and strong passwords
• Use different passwords for each account
• The FBI recommends you to turn off your camera or cover any webcam when you are not using them to prevent sex-based extortion schemes. Tool to detect intruders and lock your camera: Camera Lock