The FBI has issued an announcement alerting citizens to a rise in extortion email schemes related to recent high-profile data thefts, stating the message is sent as soon as breach of an individual’s data is reported.
The agency says its Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is receiving complaints about emails which threaten release of personal information unless a ransom is paid within a given deadline. The amount demanded ranges between 2 to 5 bitcoins to be sent to a given address.
In examples provided by the FBI, miscreants have threatened to forward the individual’s profile details, login activity, and credit card transactions to family and friends and also release them on Facebook. The Bureau believes there are likely multiple attackers involved.
The agency advised against paying the ransom and has said extortion emails should be reported.
Read the full announcement here.