Can you report extortion to the police?

Do I have to take these threats seriously?

Most of the time it is spam: Thousands of recipients are contacted by chance and given empty threats. In order to rule out a real threat or actual hacking attacks, answer the following questions:

Have i been hacked?

Do you have any evidence of viruses or malware on your devices? For example, did you download dubious attachments and did your virus scanner find strange files?

No: In all likelihood, you have not been hacked. Go to point 7.
Yes: Let IT specialists examine your device.

Are there any recordings of me watching porn?

Does the email contain precise and correct information about your porn consumption (the website, the content of the porn, the time, etc.)?

No: It is very likely that it is spam. Go to point 7.
Yes: You may actually have been filmed while consuming porn. However, do not respond to the threat and the email. Instead, follow the instructions under point 6 and on the sextortion topic page: "If I have become a victim"

Is someone planning to attack or destroy me?

Does the email contain more precise information about the person who wants to harm you and why they want to harm you, i.e. details that only people you really know can know?
Or are you currently threatened by the same person via SMS, post or direct contact?

No: It is very likely that it is spam. Go to point 7.
Yes: Go to a police station and file a complaint against this person.

Where did the blackmailers get my personal information from?

Sometimes personal information is added to threatening emails to make the threat more plausible. Your email address and the personal details contained in the spam message (e.g. outdated passwords, account details, etc.) have probably been stolen along with the data from dozens of other users and offered for sale on the Darknet. Stolen email addresses are bought from criminals who want to earn money with such threatening emails or inheritance inquiries, for example.

Why do some threatening SPAM emails have their own email address as the sender?

The senders of an email can be forged relatively easily. Incidentally, the same applies to telephone numbers (spoofing).

What should I do now?

  • Delete the mail or move it to the Junk folder.
  • Always make sure to use different and good passwords.
  • Follow the instructions on the Hacking and Malware topic page: "What can I do?"
  • Inform those around you of such threatening emails so that your acquaintances, friends and family do not allow themselves to be seduced into payments and blackmailed.

Do I have to report receipt of this email to the police?

No, the police usually already know the content of such emails. The Bitcoin addresses in the e-mails can, however, provide information about the unknown perpetrator. Report them via