Email extortion scams are one the rise these days. They range from claiming to have compromising photos of you to threating to harm your loved ones.

Often times, they will have one of your old passwords as a subject line because that’s sure to get your attention.

I’ve told you before how these scammers will then claim that they have access to your accounts. And the fact that they have an old password does tend to lend some credence to their claims. That’s where the blackmail comes in. Sometimes they claim to have compromising photos or information about embarrassing Internet activity.  They demand that you pay them by Bitcoin or another eCurrency or they’ll expose your information.

But now this scam has taken an even darker twist. Some scammers are claiming to have planted a bomb at your place of business or home. And if you don’t pay by the end of the day, they’ll detonate.

Scary, right? But don’t fall for it, it is a scam. Where do these scammers get your old password? Probably from one of the many data breaches where hackers obtained partial passwords or usernames. At this point, nearly everyone has been the victim of one at some point or another.

If it makes you feel any better, you aren’t being targeted specifically. Crooks are just going through the lists of names they have and sending out the same email to everyone hoping someone will bite.

Unfortunately, many people become frightened and pay. Don’t be one of them. Don’t click on the attachments they send that claim to show proof of your misdeeds or proof that a bomb has been planted. If they threaten violence, notify local law enforcement.