Increase in Blackmail Scams (Sextortion)

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We are getting more reports of sextortion scams, which are a type of blackmail. These look very similar to the ones highlighted in a previous blog article.  The method of operation and advice remain the same. Click here for the original article and advice on what top do if you have received one.

We do get asked why we do not block these.  Many do get blocked and we do introduce measures to increase the effectiveness of these blocks when it is practical to do so.  These are in addition to externally supplied filtering mechanisms  which are improved and updated automatically in a similar way as anti-virus software.

However, each campaign is different, new addresses are used each time, messages are individually tailored and the text is often encoded.   This makes the task of blocking challenging and not always effective.

Sophos published an article and video about these recently.  Interestingly, as a security vendor, they explain that even with filtering in place some of these will get through.


Author: Chris Bayliss

IT Security Manager.

2 thoughts on “Increase in Blackmail Scams (Sextortion)”

  1. I had a message of this type sent today. Your article does not seem to advise what to do in this case; can you please advise?

    Many thanks,

    Dorota Pacek

    1. Hi.

      The advice is to delete the email, which is in the original article linked from this one.

      Chris Bayliss
      IT Security Manager

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