Extortion attempts via email related to recent high-profile data thefts have been expanding.
Extortion attempts via email related to recent high-profile data thefts have been expanding.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued a Public Service Announcement regarding the growing number of individuals who have been filing reports with the center.

Extortion attempts via email related to recent high-profile data thefts have been growing, according to theIC3 PSA.

Targets are informed that personally identifiable information will be disclosed to their social media contacts, family and friends should a ransom not be paid. Victims are instructed to pay a fee – usually via bitcoin in amounts ranging from $250 to $1,200 – and are presented with a quick deadline. If they fail to pay, the messages contend, files on their computers will be encrypted.

The attackers have been exploiting news of high-profile data breaches to launch campaigns.

Owing to various approaches used by the miscreants, the FBI believes that these extortion campaigns are perpetrated by a number of individuals.

Victims are advised to contact their local FBI field office.