Email Spam Blackmails Ashley Madison Customers In South Australia

Scammers are taking advantage of the Ashley Madison hack earlier this year and are now threatening to “expose” people as cheaters if they don’t make bitcoin payments, according to South Australia police, ABC News reported.

South Australia police have fielded more than a dozen reports of spam email targeting both customers and non-customers of the cheaters website. The email threatens to expose customers if they don’t make a bitcoin payment. The police have characterized the scammers as among South Australia’s top swindlers.

Customers And Non-Customers Targeted

Barry Blundell, a detective senior sergeant, said the email has been sent to a wide range of individuals, some of whom were not even registered with the website. He added that many more people may have received the emails and simply deleted them and didn’t report it to authorities. online-dating-site-ashley-madison-hacked

Hackers released Ashley Madison customer usernames and personal information on a dark web in August. The hackers claimed to have information on 37 million Ashley Madison customers. They made good on threats to release the data if the website’s owner, Avid Life Media, failed to close down the website. A 9.69 GB data dump posted online is believed to contain confidential information.

Victims in South Australia were paying as much as $160,000 AUD ($117,000 USD), police said.

ABC News previously reported that Sydney and Melbourne, Australia were among the top six cities for cheaters, according to the leaked Ashley Madison information.

Ashley Madison offered a $500,000 USD reward for information leading to the arrest(s) and prosecution of members of ‘Impact Team’ – the hacking group taking credit for the breach and leaking of private information, Hacked reported in August.

Also read: Giant dump of Ashley Madison’s breached data now online

Other Scams Plague South Australia

The Ashley Madison scam wasn’t the only one victimizing South Australians. An Australian Tax Office (ATO) scam continues to plague people.

What typically happens is a person gets a call from someone claiming to be from the ATO threatening to arrest them if they don’t pay an outstanding ATO bill.

Police arrested a South Australian couple last week, claiming they persuaded an elderly woman to send them $6,000 AUD for an ATO bill they claimed was overdue.

Another woman in her 70s paid nearly $500,000 AUD ($365,625) through “Reclaim Department Australia,” believing she was entitled to money after paying a final payment for “application charges.”

Police urged people to seek independent advice if they receive an offer involving a significant amount of money, time or commitment.

“These fraudsters are heartless, greedy, persistent, manipulative and demanding, so it is vital that all South Australians are aware of these tactics,” said Detective Senior Sergeant Barry Blundell for Southern Australia police.

Images from Shutterstock and Ashley Madison.

Lester Coleman is a veteran business journalist based in the United States. He has covered the payments industry for several years and is available for writing assignments.