Internet Scams/ Attempted Blackmail
DATE & TIME: 07-08-2019 @ 9:00 am
LOCATION: Rural homes in Beatrice and Adams
OFFENSE: Internet Scams/ Attempted Blackmail
CASE #: 2019-3578 & 2019-3580
Two Gage County residents reported Internet scam attempts to a Gage County Sheriff’s Office investigator. In the first one, a resident of rural Adams received unsolicited group text messages with a link to a “teengirlcam” website. This appeared to be a spam/phishing act, with the suspect telling a group of disparate people, based on the varying area codes of the people, that she lived in their neighborhood and wanted to meet them, also providing a link to the website. He was advised to mute the conversation and block the phone number. He did not lose any money or provide any personal, financial, or confidential information.
A resident of rural Beatrice came to the sheriff’s office a few minutes after the first victim left and she reported to an investigator she had suspicious activity on her PayPal, Facebook, and Amazon account. Those were resolved through the companies, however she had received an e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org attempting to blackmail her, stating a “Trojan horse” virus had been placed on her computer and her e-mail would be shut down in 50 hours if she did not pay $500.00 in Bitcoin. There have been previous reports to the sheriff’s office of this type of activity, although not specifically from this account, which according to the domain name ending in “vn” is from a server in Vietnam. She was advised to block the e-mail and contact her Internet provider for additional safety advice specific to her account. She did not lose any money, but was advised to contact her financial institution for guidance and assistance on protecting her accounts.
The Gage County Sheriff’s urges residents to use caution, follow standard safety protocols, such as not opening e-mails from unknown sources, and having up to date Malware protection. Residents are urged to not succumb to blackmail, instead seek advice and guidance from a trusted and knowledgeable friend, a financial adviser, or contact your local police department or call the Gage County Sheriff’s Office and speak with an investigator for assistance.
Sheriff Millard “Gus” Gustafson #903
Investigator T. Hanson #90310