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Opportunistic criminals have targeted UK users of Ashley Madison whose personal details were recently leaked by hackers. Emails shown to IBTimes UK reveal that extortion attempts have been made to at least two UK users of the extra-marital affairs website, with sums of bitcoin demanded in return for not sending information associating the victims to the site to friends, family and employers.
The latest blackmail attempts follow similar incidents in New Zealand and the US, where a blackmailer going by the name of "Team GrayFlay" threatened to expose Ashley Madison users' account information to their partners. Police in Canada have said that millions of individuals are at risk of "spin-offs of crimes and further victimisation".
"I'm fortunate enough to be in a position where I joined that site as a dating option and I'm not in a relationship (either then or now) either, and my employer wouldn't be at all concerned even if that weren't the case," one victim told IBTimes UK. "I'm fairly angry about the whole thing purely because it's so blatant and so little will/can be done about it."
The victim has reported the extortion attempt to the police, who are currently looking into the matter. The Metropolitan Police has said that anyone targeted by criminals in this way should report it immediately.
The email from the blackmailer stated: "Your data was leaked in the recent leaking of Ashley Madison and I now have your information. I have also used your email to discover your Facebook page, using this I now have a direct line to get in touch with all your friends and family.
"If you would like to stop me from sharing this information with all of your known friends and family (and perhaps even your employers too?) then you need to send exactly 1.05 bitcoins to the following BTC address..."
The blackmailer, who signs off the email as Joel, provides details in the email of how to buy bitcoins using an online exchange. If the fee is not paid, the target is told that within three days a message will automatically be sent to friends and family of the victim.
"Consider how expensive a divorce lawyer is," the email warns. "If you are no longer in a committed relationship then think about how this will affect your social standing amongst family and friends. What will your friends and family think about you?"