Syrian Electronic Army threat a scam
Police are investigating a threatening email from people claiming to be the terrorist hackers Syrian Electronic Army.
The scam email demands the recipient deposit $1500 in the electronic currency Bitcoin to a specified account within 72 hours or someone from their family will be killed and their house burnt down.
The Syrian Electronic Army is a group of hackers that has claimed responsibility for hacking government and military databases.
The email says the group works with ISIS and is raising money for its war.
"If you refuse to pay the money all the important files from your computer will be deleted," it says.
"Also, if you will go to the police after you have paid the money we will destroy you and all your family."
The email also contains the recipient's name, email address, phone number, date of birth and IP address.
Senior Sergeant Scott Rees said the Auckland Police District Command Centre had received four reports of the email on Saturday morning alone.
"I would suggest it's probably some form of a scam."
Rees said police were taking reports from people who had received the email and had launched an investigation.
The email claims the group has at least 250 members in every major city from New Zealand and says the recipient's phone, internet and house are being monitored.
Rees said the recipients of the email did not have anything to worry about at this point in time.
It was likely an international scam but police were investigating the source of the email, especially how the scammers had obtained people's personal information.
One woman who received the email called it "freaky".
The woman, who asked not to be named, said she used to live in Auckland but moved to Australia in 2012.
Her Auckland address and phone number were included in the email.
She said the email that came into her junk folder seemed like spam and she reported it to the New Zealand Police.
"It makes me really angry that they'll be emailing people less cynical than I am and probably scaring them out of their wits," she said.
Rees said he did not know when the emails first started circulating or how many people had received the email.