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Threatening scam emails in Norfolk

computer emails

Published by Grace Mcgachy at 5:44am 13th November 2018.

It's a very threatening message to get in Norfolk.

Emails are going around saying that they have ‘hacked this mailbox' and includes a password that we'll recognise.

It goes on to claim to have ‘access to all our accounts, social networks, email, browsing history’, contacts, photos and videos.


an example of the scam emails sent to Norfolk residents. It threatens to share the recipients photos and personal info unless bitcoin is paid


The email then makes accusations about websites you have visited and threatens to share this with your contacts unless an amount is paid in Bitcoin.

Norfolk Trading Standards say the use of a password known to the email recipient is a new twist on this type of email scam and the concern is that it may make recipients believe the email is genuine and consider paying the amount demanded.

Action Fraud believes the email contact and the associated password are likely to have been gained by the scammers in an old data breach.

a close up view of a computer keyboard


They are offering the following advice regarding this type of email and how to protect yourself:

  • Don’t reply to the email or be pressured into paying: it only highlights that you’re vulnerable and you could be targeted again.
  • The police advise that you do not pay criminals.
  • Try flagging the email as spam/junk if you receive it multiple times.
  • Perform password resets as soon as possible on any accounts where you’ve used the password mentioned in the email.
  • Always use a strong, separate password for important accounts, such as your email.
  • Where available, enable Two-Factor Authentication 
  • Always install the latest software & app updates.
  • Install, or enable, anti-virus software on your laptops & computers and keep it updated.
  • If you have received one of these emails and paid the fine, report it to Norfolk Constabulary. If you have not paid, report the email as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud

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