Embarrassing video threat, extortion part of new scam

Port police warn of cyber crooks who demand $7,000 in hush money
Ozaukee Press staff

Port Washington police are warning people about a new computer scam that’s hitting the area.

Last week, a man contacted the department after his wife received an email from someone who claimed he had installed malware on the computer and captured video of them surfing pornographic websites, police  officer Steve Footit said.

Unless they sent a $7,000 Bitcoin “keep quiet” payment to a specific address within 24 hours, the scammer said, he would release the video to all their contacts, Footit said.

In addition, the scammer ordered them not to contact police.

The Port Washington couple who received the email did contact police and did not wire any payment, Footit said.

Some of the scam emails may seem credible because they include a password the victim has used in the past, he said, perhaps as a way to prove the scammer has hacked into the computer system.

Some experts believe the passwords may have come from data breeches involving popular websites or businesses, he said.

“The scam email is fairly long and pretty well thought out,” Footit said in an email. 

Anyone receiving this type of email is asked to contact police.

“It probably would not be a bad idea to change current passwords just in case,” Footit added.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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