#privacy: Paedophile sextortion scam hits residents in Ireland

ESET Ireland released a warning on its website about scammers threatening to expose victims of being a paedophile unless a ransom is paid. 

In the warning, ESET Ireland registered numerous emails being sent to Irish mailboxes, whereby recipients are being urged to pay the scammers 5,000 GPB in Bitcoin, or else an alleged video of them watching illegal pornography online will be exposed. 

The subject line of the email sent to victims were “I know you are a paedophile…” and “What the **** are you doing, paedophile?”. The sender of the email claims to be from an internet security specialist who is affiliated with the Anonymous group.

Additionally the sender claims to have installed spyware on the victim’s computer – thus allowing them to record the victim watching the alleged illegal pornography.  Victims are told that four video files which capture them masturbating to “young teenagers” have been secured – this is to scare the victim into complying with what the scammer wants. 

The scammers wrote: “I was observing you for quite some time and what I have collected here is overwhelming. I know about your sexual preferences and your interest in young bodies.”

To prevent victims from reporting them to the police, the scammers wrote: “Don’t even think about going to police. If you try, I will immediately know it and I will Send them you masturbation videos, pedo.”

It is important that anyone who has received such an email to not download any attachments, or click on embedded links, and most crucially do not send money to attackers. If the emails contain any identifiable information then it is advised to report the email to the police 

ESET Ireland said: 

“These emails fit into the social engineering category trying to manipulate victims into paying the extortionists various sums of money, by claiming they have incriminating evidence of the victim’s wrongdoings. The vast majority of these are just threats, but there have been cases of cybercriminals actually remotely activating laptop and smartphone cameras and blackmailing their owners with the videos recorded.”

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