More police reports made on porn-related e-mail extortion scams since October

SINGAPORE - Around 70 police reports have been made since September over pornography-related e-mail extortion scams, said the police in a Facebook post on Monday (Dec 31).

This is an increase from more than 15 reports made from September to October.

In these cases, victims said they received e-mails from unknown e-mail accounts or e-mail accounts that resembled their own.

The scammers would claim that they had screenshots of the victims watching pornographic materials, and threaten to expose them to their family and friends unless they make a Bitcoin payment.

In some cases, victims were told by the scammers that their computers had been infected with malware, which allowed their online activities to be monitored.

For other cases, the scammers claimed that they had the victim's e-mail account password, or had obtained the victim's contacts from social networking platforms, so as to add a sense of legitimacy to their threats.

To guard against such scams, the police advised the public to, among other things, ignore any instructions to make payments, using strong passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and protecting computers and mobile devices with updated anti-virus software.