A malicious email containing blackmail may be designed to steal financial information, Queensland police say.

People are being warned about an abusive email that may be part of an international network which steals financial details from victims.

The email contains obscene abuse directed to the recipient and alleges private images have been posted on the internet.

It also contains an embedded link, which activates malicious software once it is clicked.

Detective Superintendent Brian Hay, from the Queensland Police Service’s fraud and cyber crime group, said the email was designed to trick people.

“As disgusting and offensive as this email is, it is a clever and manipulative way to garner an emotional response, piquing the curiosity of the reader into clicking the link which will ultimately infect your computer,” he said.

“A worse case scenario, and one that we have seen happen, is your computer becoming part of an international network of compromised computers and your identity and financial information being compromised.”

Anyone who comes across this email is urged to delete it, scan their computer for malware and change all their passwords.