Scam Blackmail Email Alert
The Chapel Hill Police Department has received calls from two residents in the past week claiming they have received fraudulent emails attempting to extort money from the victims.
In both cases, victims received emails from either their own name or their initials. The emails claimed that the sender has embarrassing information about the victim that would be released unless a payment was made. Both victims also said their email password was included in the email. One email demanded payment of $999 in bitcoin, a digital currency independent of any banks; the other email demanded $985.
The victims were advised to change their passwords and contact the police department again if they receive similar messages in the future.
NC Attorney General Josh Stein has helpful information available to give you tips to avoid scammers here. In it, it states, “scammers know that knocking us off-balance is the best way to get past our usual skepticism and suspicions. And they know that two of our emotions… fear, and excitement… offer the best shortcut.”
The FBI also has helpful information available at fbi.gov/scams-and-safety.
Trust your gut; if something doesn’t feel right, it’s important to take a breath a think critically about what’s being asked of you.
If you need to speak with someone at the Chapel Hill Police Department, you may call 919-968-2760 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you feel you are in any danger, you should call 911 immediately.