The Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) and the Joint Financial Crimes Unit (JFCU) have issued a warning to islanders and businesses following authorities receiving reports of intimidating ransom emails, where the recipient or their family’s lives are threatened.
The emails are likely to be fraudulent and are threatening that people need to make a Bitcoin payment in order to avoid them or their family members being hurt, or a hit man making an attempt on their lives. They are relatively unsophisticated but still need to be treated with caution.
As people receive many unsolicited spam emails, and have become increasingly immune to basic scams, perpetrators as a result are either using more threatening methods; or utilising personal information, often mined from social media networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn, to try to make their attacks appear more genuine.
The JFSC and the JFCU have set out what to do if you receive a threating email:
- The JFSC and the JFCU take these allegations very seriously, although we do not believe that there is a credible threat of the actions being pursued.
- Nevertheless we recommend anyone who has fallen victim to or believes they have been targeted by this scam to contact the JFCU firstname.lastname@example.org and in addition if you are a regulated financial services provider to contact your supervisor at the JFSC.
- Anyone who has received emails or text messages of this nature should not otherwise action them – do not respond and do not send any money to the fraudsters.
Access to Bitcoin and other untraceable crypto currencies is making such threats more common.
This warning is similar to recent advice which has been issued by other law enforcement agencies such as the FBI.
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