Community First

Guidance from Derbyshire Alert & Derbyshire Constabulary

Threatening Blackmail Emails

Have you received an unpleasant email demanding payment, trying to blackmail you?

#Extortion emails take varying forms. Most prominently, we see emails that accuse the recipient of having visited adult or illegal websites, and that footage/images have been obtained by having taken control of webcams – usually with a threat to distribute the images, if payment is not made, most commonly demanded in crypto currency.

More recently, we've seen a spate of emails reported containing personal details such as full names, addresses, and phone numbers.

In all likelihood, the email is purely phishing and as a result of publicly available information. They are hoping you will be frightened in to paying. It's a good reminder that just because someone knows some details about you, that doesn't mean the communication is legitimate.

Our advice is :

Don't panic, don't pay and do not communicate with the criminal.

If you have received such an email, forward it to the National Cyber Security Centre's Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): and then simply delete it.

Is your password mentioned?
Do not worry if your password is mentioned. But DO ensure that you change any passwords you recognise, as soon as possible.

For further advice on how to create good passwords, please visit

Why have I received these emails?
Either the information if publicly available online already, or you may have been involved in a data breach previously.

To check to see if your online accounts have been involved in any historic data breaches, visit

To save you regularly having to check, and to be notified if your accounts are involved in future breaches, click on "Notify Me" on their website.

Should I pay the ransom?
Quite simply, NO. If you are tempted to pay the ransom, you risk being targeted with future scams as the sender will know they have a 'willing' customer. You may also be targeted with alleged "recovery" scams.

If you've already paid the ransom...
If you have already paid, please report the loss to Action Fraud

Posted: Mon, 15 Aug 2022 15:19 by Sara Atkinson

Tags: Crime & Disorder, Press Releases