Police Scotland is urging the public to be aware of a Bitcoin email scam currently being circulated in the North East which is causing concern for those who receive it.
The email sent to victims contains their own password in an attempt to trick them into believing they have been filmed on their computer watching pornography and demanding payment in bitcoin.
Sergeant Scott McKay explains: “It is widely believed that the fraudsters may have gained victim’s passwords from an old data breach and they are using this information to contact people and coerce them into paying money under the pretence of avoiding embarrassment.
“This email is a complete scam and the best advice is to report the details to Action Fraud and then click DELETE. If however, you have paid any money to fraudsters please contact Police Scotland to report the fraud.
“If the password quoted to you is one that you still use on social media or commercial sites then it would be advisable to use this opportunity to change your passwords.
“Don’t reply to the email and never pay any money.
“Action Fraud circulated details of this particular fraud in the middle of July. Their website is a useful source of information about current scams and how to protect yourself from this type of crime.
“Thankfully we have not received any reports of people paying money however if anyone has paid money I would ask them to get in touch with Police Scotland on 101 to report it.
“Fraudsters prey on the insecurity of the victims to pay. On this occasion the best way to stand up to these fraudsters is to ignore it and press delete. “
For further advice on preventing fraud, see the Police Scotland website or Action Fraud’s website at www.actionfraud.police.uk