A new and unsettling email scam has been circulating.  The email claims that you were recorded doing something nefarious with your computer and that you need to pay a ransom, or the video will be shared with your email contacts.  The email also states that they are aware of your password.  They then put a known password text directly in the email.  Often the password listed in the email is a password that you have utilized in the past.  This can be frightening.  If it is a password you are currently using on a site, please update and change it immediately.

You might be wondering – how did they get my old password?  It is likely that at some point your password was harvested from a data breach.  When and where the breach occurred is highly unknown.  Most people are reporting that the passwords listed in the scam emails were very old, often 10+ years.

Here is what you need to know:

  1. If you are using the password listed in the email, change/update your password immediately
  2. Delete the Email
  3. Don’t send any money or bitcoin
  4. Don’t reply to the email
  5. There was no malware automatically installed on your machine by reading the email
  6. If you clicked on something or are concerned, please contact the Helpdesk to scan your computer!

Here are some additional articles about this email scam:

Gizmodo

Toshi Times

New Email Spam – Don’t Fall for This Scam Claiming You Were Recorded

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