Beware of this new email scam accusing child pornography! – Next Stage

Fraudulent emails are flooding our inboxes and are using various tactics to deceive recipients. Among the current widespread scams, the one that accuses child pornography is particularly alarming. It is vital to recognize this scam to avoid falling into its trap. This article guides you through the dangers and explains how to react to these malicious emails.

Recognizing the child pornography email scam

Scammers send emails pretending to be security officers or competent authorities. These messages claim that the recipient is involved in child pornography activities. The use of reputable and real names, such as Stéphane Theimer or Elisabeth Baume-Schneider, reinforces the feeling of authenticity. However, these emails are sophisticated hoaxes.


Names of personalities used by scammers

Scammers use the names of real federal agents, adding a layer of credibility to their scams. Here are some commonly used names:

  • Jean-Michel Aldebert
  • Regis Allegri
  • Catherine Bonnet
  • Denis Favier
  • Guirec The Arm
  • Sebastian Possemé

By presenting themselves as well-known figures, the scammers seek to trigger an immediate panic reaction in the recipient.

Typical content of fraudulent emails

The message usually contains formal accusations, claiming that evidence of viewing child pornography has been found. A typical passage from the email might look like:

“We have been informed that you have committed several offences on the Internet after being targeted on certain social networks, ad sites and dating sites for viewing videos and images of a sexual and paedophile nature, nude photos/videos including minors…”

These types of messages are designed to instill fear and cause the recipient to react impulsively, such as by replying or clicking on a fraudulent link.


Why you should avoid responding to these emails

Responding to these emails or clicking on suspicious links opens the door to additional attacks. Scammers use panic to make victims vulnerable and likely to disclose personal information.

The dangers of the response

When you respond to these emails, scammers get confirmation that your email address is active. This makes it a prime target for further attacks. Plus, by responding, you could unknowingly provide sensitive or financial information.

Recognizing the signs of a fraudulent email

To identify a fraudulent email, several clues can guide you:

  • Expeditor's address : An official email from the police or other authorities usually ends with a secure domain, for example,
  • Spelling mistakes: The presence of numerous spelling or grammatical errors is often a telltale sign of fraud.
  • Emergency : Emails that insist on an immediate response or mention serious consequences are often scam attempts.

Actions to take when faced with a suspicious email

If you receive a suspicious email, it is important to have the right reflexes to protect yourself and others. Here are some safety tips:

What to do if you receive a fraudulent email

The first action to take is to not respond and not click on any links contained in the email. Then, forward the suspicious email to the reporting address [email protected]The Central Office for the Fight against Crime Related to Information and Communication Technologies (OCLCTIC) will analyze these reports to help dismantle the networks of scammers.

Here is an explanatory table of the first actions to take:

To not answerIgnore the email, do not click on any links or download any attachments.
Forward the mailSend a copy of the email to [email protected] to help authorities investigate.
Delete the emailAfter doing the needful, delete the email from your inbox to avoid any future risk.

If you have responded or provided information

In case you have responded to a fraudulent email or provided sensitive information, do not panic. There are several steps you can take:

  1. File a complaint with law enforcement, providing all relevant details.
  2. Contact your bank to report possible fraud, even if no bank charges were mentioned in the initial email.
  3. Monitor your financial accounts for suspicious activity.

Preventing future email scams

Vigilance is essential to avoid falling into the traps of email scams. Here are some tips to strengthen your online security:

Toolkit for enhanced cybersecurity

Adopt robust cybersecurity practices to reduce risks:

  • Use strong passwords: Combine uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters to create strong passwords.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): This adds an extra layer of security to your accounts.
  • Avoid clicking on unverified links: Hover your mouse over the links to see the actual URL before clicking.
  • Update your software: Make sure your antivirus programs and other security software are up to date.

Awareness and education

Educate yourself and your loved ones about common email scam tactics. The more you can spot the signs, the less likely you are to fall for them.

By adopting these practices, you can browse the internet more safely and protect your personal information from cybercriminals. Vigilance remains the best defense against email scams.