Action Fraud has received several reports in the last week from businesses who have been sent online extortion demands from scammers threatening a cyber attack.
The scammers have been sending emails to businesses across the UK demanding payment of between £300-£500 in Bitcoins by a certain date and time.
If the demands are not met, the team have threatened to launch a cyber attack against the businesses and their reputation by automating hundreds of negative reviews online.
The emails also claim that once actions have started, they cannot be undone. Although these scammers are currently calling themselves “RepKiller”, it is common for fraudsters to continually change and adopt new tactics – email names can be made and changed easily.
What to do if you receive one of these emails?
Whether the attack is attempted or successful, you should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or by using their online reporting tool and receive a police crime reference number.
Action Fraud advise that you do not pay the demand. There is no guarantee the scammers won’t launch an attack and could encourage further extortion demands in the future.
Retain all the original emails. Should law enforcement investigate, the information contained within the email headers can be used as evidence.
Maintain a timeline of the attack recording all times, type and content of contact.
If you experience an attack contact the review website provider immediately for advice.
Also, this may be a good time to review the security of your IT, ensure that passwords are secure, online data encrypted and passwords changed regularly.