September 7, 2018, I received a blackmail message. I might not have taken it seriously, except that the opening sentence read “I am well aware that xxxxxxxx is one of your passwords.” AND IT WAS! That got my attention. The blackmailer demanded $6,000 to be paid in Bitcoin. I was given one day to comply, or the blackmailer would expose my “misbehavior” to all my contacts.
According to the blackmailer, I had visited his or her porn site and the blackmailer had used my computer’s camera to record me. Luckily I’m not guilty so I knew it was a scam. I reported the blackmail effort to the FBI and my local authorities which happens to be the Williamson County TN Sheriff’s Department. According to Officer Carter, the scammer gets email addresses and passwords off the dark web and broadcasts blackmail messages assuming that some of the recipients would actually be guilty of frequenting porn sites and would pay up to avoid the embarrassment of exposure.
The Web is a dangerous place. I receive hundreds of emails every single day. Most are deleted without ever being opened. Emails from an unknown source can include all sorts of devilment. And unfortunately, some who are up to no good have learned to disguise themselves as a source you are familiar with.
The best practice is to conduct yourself as if the world is watching at all time. Don’t send an email you would not want others to read. Don’t go to places you would not want others to know you frequent. In short, always conduct yourself as a gentleman or gentlelady.
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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
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