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MyGov email scam threatening Australians for money sparks Scamwatch warning




Unsuspecting Australians are falling victim to scammers posing as government agency myGov and threatening to expose personal details unless they pay up.

The fake emails claim to be from a myGov address and demand the victim pay a Bitcoin ransom to avoid intimate photos and details of themselves being released to their contacts.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Warning over scam myGov text messages.

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“I am sorry to inform you of some distressing news,” the email starts.

“A few months ago, I gained access to all the devices you use to browse the internet and have been monitoring your online activity ever since.”

The scammer then claims to have bought a list of emails from hackers to access the victim’s email account, which allowed them to download a virus onto the victim’s devices and then access their video camera, keyboard, microphone and documents.

Scamwatch is warning Australians about a fake myGov email blackmailing people into giving scammers money. Credit: Scamwatch

They also claim to have recorded explicit videos of the victim, which they threaten to expose to their contacts unless the victim pays their ransom.

All the while, the cyber crook is pretending to be from government agency myGov.

“Please do not attempt to contact the police ... do not share this information with anyone else,” the email says.

Scamwatch issued an alert on the emails this week, warning the community to “be wary”.

It said the trick works by frightening the victim into handing over the money, with Australians losing more than $2,300,000 to threats to life, arrest or demand scams in April alone.

“The government will never threaten you or ask you to pay money via cryptocurrency,” it said.

“Don’t respond, just delete.”

Responding often results in scammers escalating their intimidation, Scamwatch warned.