Immokalee Bulletin

CCSO Cautions Residents About Blackmail Scam

Deputies are cautioning residents about a scam that seeks to blackmail victims with pornography allegations.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office has received six telephone calls to the agency’s “Call Before You Pay” hotline in recent days from residents who said they were contacted anonymously by someone claiming to have evidence that their computer was being used to access pornography and threatening to publicly reveal the information unless demands are met.

The scam begins when the scammer sends an anonymous letter claiming to have found pornography or evidence of some crime on the letter recipient’s computer.

The scammer then threatens to reveal the evidence to the victim’s family, friends or spouse. To avoid detection, the scammer insists on being paid in Bitcoin, a virtual currency. In exchange for the one-time fee, the scammer promises to make the evidence disappear.

CCSO encourages residents to be vigilant against letter, phone and e-mail scams. If you come across this scam, please report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.