New ‘sextortion’ scam targeting victims

Published: Jan. 22, 2020 at 10:24 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It’s an alarming new version of an old scam where criminals try to convince you they have illicit recordings, photos, or information about you saying they’ll release it unless you pay up.

The criminals say they gather the blackmail by hacking into your home security camera and secretly recording you.

The scam isn’t too far fetched just last year, several lawsuits were filed against Ring and Amazon after hackers gained access to home security cameras and spoke to unsuspecting homeowners.

“Technology is a double-edged sword," Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso said."It has made many of our lives easier, but along with that, comes the negative aspect. It makes you an easier target for these criminal entrepreneurs. They also cash in on this same technology we cash in the benefits of, whether by law enforcement or in the private sector.”

But Sheriff Mancuso says don’t fall victim to it.

“Don’t be held ransom," Mancuso said. "That’s what they want. They want to scare you and they will use scare tactics. Whatever the scam is and there are so many scams out there and they play on your emotions and this is another one playing at the heart and root of your emotions. If you just aren’t sure, call law enforcement. We will probably know right then and there if it’s a scam or not.”

Luckily Sheriff Mancuso says they have not had any calls or cases regarding this scam or someone hacking into local home security systems, but reminds everyone to remain vigilant.

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