Saintly woman targeted by porn blackmail scam

Anyone can be targeted by new extortion

It's one of the most frightening new scams to hit this year: the porn blackmail scam, or "sextortion" scam.

One Cincinnati woman was just hit by it, and shared her story so others don't end up horrified as she was, or worse, losing hundreds of dollars.

Linda Wihl is one of the kindest, most clean-living women you'll ever meet. 

She teaches inner city children to read through a non profit group she started called "Making Sense of Language Arts."  She has a wall full or honors and awards for helping so many children.

So you can imagine her surprise when she received an email accusing her of watching porn.

"They were asking for money to keep quiet, or said they would show pictures of me performing you know, sex acts." Wihl said.

Frightening email says it has goods on you

The email claimed a malware program installed on her laptop caught her visiting porn sites and had a picture of her watching porn taken with her laptop's camera.

Her first reaction? "It was bull, for one, because it's not something I do."

However, the emailer knew one of her passwords, so she worried.

Wihl's biggest fear wasn't that someone saw her doing something private. It was that a hacker had gotten into her computer, where he could have accessed all sorts of personal information.

"You don't know who has access and who can use your computer," she said.

Fortunately, the security site Krebs on Security says this is just a scam that uses a password stolen from a data breach, possibly the 2012 LinkedIn breach.

Wihl didn't send money; she knew the hackers didn't really have anything with which to embarrass her. If you're not quite as saintly as she is, however, you just might fall for it -- especially if you have ever looked at X-rated material on your computer.

As always, delete your browser history and don't waste your money.

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