Extortion Scams Threaten Physical Violence

Similar to the previously covered “sextortion” scams, last week, threat actors elevated their tactics to include threats of physical violence via bomb scares. Now, in the latest extortion email campaign, bad actors are threatening victims with execution via a hitman. The threat actor claims someone bought the execution service off their site on the Dark Web, and, for a bitcoin payment of $4,000, states they will consider calling off the hitman and releasing information on who ordered the attack. The emails are poorly written and filled with grammar and spelling mistakes, clear indications of illegitimacy. Because the scams threaten physical violence, they have garnered a lot of attention from law enforcement and the public. While alarming, it is important to remember that all of these extortion threats are unsubstantiated and have not proven to be credible. The NJCCIC recommends users educate themselves and others on this and similar scams. Incidents may be reported to the NJCCIC via our incident reporting page and to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) via their website. BleepingComputer further details this scam in their recent blog post.