This scam from 2 years ago is making a comeback right now, keep your eyes out for:
An email states that someone has tracked your activity on an adult website. For the right price, they will not release video obtained from your computer’s webcam. Supposedly, if you give them money/Bitcoin/giftcards, they will not embarrass you to your family and friends.
The kicker to this blackmail attempt is that they use your name, email address ***and include a password that is familiar to you***. This is very worrisome to people, and makes the threat much more believable.
But please understand: They DON’T have any real dirt on you, and you should delete the email and move on. Or have a conversation with the local police, if it gives you peace of mind. Under NO circumstance should you respond or pay.
How did they find your password? One of the websites you’ve dealt with was hacked. It could’ve been a site you used years ago, but someone intruded on that company’s servers and stole their customer records (names, addresses, passwords, etc.). That clump of info was then sold or traded to some spammers, who performed a simple mail merge to send a “customized” email to everyone on the list.
Remember, there’s nothing personal about these email scams. They’re churned out with the expectation that only .01% of the recipients will even respond. If you get this kind of message, keep in mind you’re just one in a million.