The email says you’ve been investigated for a crime and the police have gathered evidence…but don’t click the attachment to see what they’ve dug up on you!

Who Is It Targeting:  Tech users

What Is It: Extortion attempt that installs malware on your computer

What Are They After: There are two fairly common and very simple methods of installing a virus on your computer: getting you to click a link in an email, or getting you to open an attachment. If the scammer can get you to do either one of those things, then you’ve done the hard part for them. But how will they get you to do it?

There have been a lot of tactics over the years, like “you won’t believe this crazy photo I found of you online!” but a new form of the scam involves an official-looking email and the notification that the police have caught you doing something illegal online. The proof of the charges against you is supposedly contained in the attachment, but opening it installs a virus on your computer instead of showing you the damage.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Never click a link or open an attachment in an email without verifying it from the sender first.
  • Make sure you’re running strong, up-to-date antivirus software that offers real-time blocking protection.

Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from BBB.org.


If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530.