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Warning over e-mail scam

Residents have been threatened by scammers who tried to persuade people to buy them cryptocurrency, police warned.

The Bermuda Police Service said that messages were sent by e-mail or social media claiming that the recipient's online activity would be made public, unless digital assets are purchased and delivered to the sender.

A set time period — usually 24 hours — is given for the transaction to take place.

Police said the ploy was “yet another form of phishing”, which is when fraudsters send messages to try to elicit information or money from others.

A BPS spokesman said: “Spotting a phishing e-mail is becoming increasingly difficult, and many scams will even trick computer experts.

“However, there are some common signs to look out for:

• Authority — is the sender claiming to be from someone official, like your bank, doctor, a solicitor, government department? Criminals often pretend to be important people or organisations to trick you into doing what they want.

• Urgency — are you told you have a limited time to respond, like in 24 hours or immediately? Criminals often threaten you with fines or other negative consequences.

• Emotion — does the message make you panic, fearful, hopeful or curious? Criminals often use threatening language, make false claims of support, or tease you into wanting to find out more.”

Residents were advised: “Make yourself a harder target. Criminals use publicly available information about you to make their phishing messages more convincing.

“This is often gleaned from your website and social media accounts — information known as a digital footprint.”

Police said people should review privacy settings on social media and other online accounts; carefully consider what is being posted, and who can see it.

A spokesman urged: “Be aware what your friends, family and colleagues say about you online, as this can also reveal information that may be used to target you.

“If you do spot a suspicious e-mail, flag it as Spam/Junk in your e-mail inbox. Tell your e-mail provider you've identified it as potentially unsafe.

“Delete the email. Do not respond or click on any of the attachments or links, if any.

“Do not provide any sensitive information.

“Install antivirus software or other security protection if you currently do not have it available on your computer.

“Change your computer, e-mail and other social media passwords using a strong password combination consisting of capital and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

“Cover your computer's camera lens.”

(File image)

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Published May 01, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated April 30, 2020 at 7:56 pm)

Warning over e-mail scam

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