First there was phone calls concerning loved ones being arrested or involved in an accident and needing money. Then came the IRS tax scams saying you owed taxes. Scammers even tried to fool citizens with saying an arrest warrant had been issued and they would be arrested. The most disturbing of all scams involved scammers using encryption malware to hold the victim’s data hostage for payment. Although these scams exist, the latest ploy seems to extort a computer user’s dignity by threatening to release evidence of pornographic material viewing by the victim. The email received by the victim states something to the effect that they know what password the computer user has been using and reveals it. The scammer goes on to state that a virus was installed on the user’s computer that stole the password and shows the user accessing pornographic material. Would be victim’s may believe the scammer as the email contains an old password that the user may have used. Users may then believe that the scammer has some compromising information that could be embarrassing. Don’t fall for this scam! The scammers may in fact have an old password that was obtained from the web, but the threats of exposing the victim are simply not true. A clue that the scammer doesn’t really have anything on the victim is evident in the salutation. These emails often lack the victim’s name or any information, other than a recognizable password. Additionally, the threats to expose the victim reference a site name that a victim may not have ever visited. What should you do? According to Chief Mark Weeks, “The first thing to do is make sure the password referenced in the email is not in use at all. Change your passwords to something difficult to guess and don’t make them all the same. Recommendations are at least 8 characters with a mixture of lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers, and symbols. Lastly, mark the received email as spam.” The best protection from scammer’s emails is just to simply ignore them. Responding to or opening attachments from scammers may actually cause more scam type emails to be received. Whatever you do, DON'T PAY ANY MONEY TO THE SCAMMER!