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Port Washington police warn of new, sophisticated email scam

Posted: 5:12 PM, Aug 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-06 11:26:01Z

Police in Port Washington are warning the public about a new email scam they've already received two calls about.  

In the scam, the email's senders claim to have installed malware on the recipients' computers and captured videos of them viewing adult websites and/or videos. 

The scammers demand money from the recipients to not release the videos to their friends and family.

"They're not targeting anybody specifically," said Port Washington Police Lt. Craig Czarnecki. "They're shooting this out to all kinds of people hoping somebody will bite and they'll get some money out of it." 

According to Czarnecki, the scammers use a recipient's previous email passwords to try and convince him or her that the email is legitimate. 

"A lot of these emails and passwords came from an old hack of a database," Czarnecki said. 

He said, fortunately, the callers who reported the scam to Port Washington Police did not take the bait and hand over any money. 

Police said scam emails like this one often originate overseas and are tough to track. So officers are hoping to raise awareness about the fraudulent activity in an effort to prevent an unsuspecting recipient from being duped. 

Port Washington Police posted an alert about the scam on Facebook. 

They've also gone door to door to businesses in Port Washington, like Daily Baking Company, to warn them about the email. 

"The police actually came into the bakery last week and walked to us about it a little bit," said baker Danielle Santos. 

"It's crazy the world we live in now. It's sad that people have to stoop to that level to try and get money," Santos said. 

Czarnecki said anyone who receives a suspicious email, like this most recent scam, can always reach out to their local police department.