Scam Alert - Sextortion

Members of the public are being advised to be aware of 'sextortion' emails which are being issued by cyber criminals.

What has happened

Reports have been received by Action Fraud that sextortion emails are being distributed.

Cyber criminals are sending victims their own passwords in an attempt to trick them into believing they have been filmed on their computer watching pornography. They are then demanding payment from the victim in return for remaining silent about the story.

The criminals are believed to have obtained passwords through a previous data breach.

What you should do

Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision as  paying only highlights that you’re vulnerable and that you may be targeted again. The police advise that you do not pay criminals.

Change your password immediately and reset it on any other accounts you’ve used the same one for. Always use a strong and separate password. Whenever possible, enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).


  • don't email the fraudsters back
  • update your anti-virus software and operating systems regularly
  • cover your webcam when not in use

Report the incident

If you have received one of these emails and paid the demand, report it to the PSNI by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency. If you have not paid, report it as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud.

This crime is blackmail and is not a fraud. Therefore if you have paid the extortion you should make the crime report locally to the PSNI.



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