Scammers use accurate passwords in email scam to threaten Jacksonville residents for money

Threatening emails are being sent to people in our area, and the scammer behind the computer screen is mentioning people’s accurate passwords to make them believe the threat is real.

One of the threatening emails was sent to a former FBI agent, who is also our Action News Jax law and safety expert.

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“Clearly, they didn’t read my webpage. They have no idea who I am or what I do for a living,” Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson said.

The subject line includes an actual password.

“It is a password that I occasionally use when I’m shopping for something,” Carson said.

Then the email reads, “I know the dirty secrets of your life.”.

The email goes on to say that $5,000 needs to be sent via bitcoin within 49 hours, or the scammer alleges he will wreck your life.

Because the sender’s email address is from a Microsoft Outlook account, it may seem legitimate.

“It actually got through my spam filters, and there it was,” Carson said.

We showed the email to other people to see what they thought.

“I would probably freak out considering if it’s a password, accurate password,” a woman said.

The number one question was how someone was able to get an accurate password.

An IT security specialist said it all comes down to passwords being sold on the dark web after websites are hacked.

“If one of the websites is compromised then they have your password,” IT security specialist Randy Groesbeck said.

Groesbeck said there is a way to trace the email with the IP address and a lot of these scams come from different countries.

 If you get one of these emails it is recommended to report it to police and the FBI internet crime division.