3 ON YOUR SIDE (3TV) - Millions of people have received a scam email accusing them of having compromising pictures of videos that will be leaked if the victim doesn't pay up.

It's called the "sextortion scam," and experts say don't fall for it.

[WATCH: Don't fall for the so-called 'sextortion scam']

"When it comes to sextortion, what they're doing is claiming they have some kind of evidence, some kind of compromising video or picture they're going to release to the world if you don't pay," Ken Colburn with Data Doctors said. "So, they are trying to extort you as if they have something very personal."

Colburn told 3 On Your Side there has been an uptick of this specific type of scam.

"This is a variation of things we've seen in the past. In the past, they've actually got a little more clever," he said.

The email will usually talk about the victim's device being hacked, and the scammer says they have embarrassing videos and pictures. If you don't send money to them via Bitcoin, the email says the scammer will send those pictures to your entire contact list.

"Just understand what they say in the email, none of it is true," Colburn said. "You don't have to pay anything. They didn't steal your password. They just got it off the dark web," said Colburn.

[RELATED: Sextortion scam: You've probably seen it. Here's what you need to do]

Colburn says there are ways you can protect yourself. For example, change your passwords and make sure you do not use the same password for multiple accounts.

[RELATED: PWNED? Do hackers have my passwords?]

"Again, they didn't break into your computer. They were never in your computer," he said. "It's just a phishing scam. They're just sending the message to millions of people."

 


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