Warning about current extortion emails


Lately a rising amount of extortion attempts with spam emails has been sent to members of the WWU. The originators usually claim to have "hacked" into a person's computer or email account and threaten to publish sensitive information, e.g. video material, about their private life, if their demands are not met. Often a payment of in a crypto currency like Bitcoin is requested. All those claims are mere pretences to scare the receiving person and urge them to give into their demands.

The largest part of incoming spam emails is already filtered out by our email system but since the originators of such emails quickly switch to new addresses, the delivery into one's inbox can't always be prevented.

If you happen to receive such an email, take the following steps:

  • Never give in to their demands
  • Don't open any attachments from that sender and never reply to such an email
  • Extortion is a crime and should be reported to the police, even if the chances to find the criminals behind it are very small in this casen
  • Move the email into the spam or trash folder of your email application
Of course you always should also follow our general recommendations for IT security, like regular installation of updates, usage of an antivirus application and the safe handling of credentials.

Additional resources on this topic: