Police are investigating an email threatening people's families and homes that claims to be sent by terrorist hackers Syrian Electronic Army.

Police said the email has been sent to people in New Zealand and threatens that if the recipient doesn't pay $1,500 in bitcoin their computer files will be lost, a family member will be killed and their house will be destroyed by fire.

The email claims to be sent by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA).

Acting National Crime Manager Paul Berry said police were investigating the email threat because they were concerned about any threats against members of the public and many recipients would be feeling vulnerable.


"Police are aware some email recipients may feel very vulnerable after receiving an email of this nature.

"Anyone who does feel at risk should contact their nearest Police station to express their concern.

"Other recipients may not feel as threatened but may still wish to assist with the investigation in order to prevent it from spreading further," Mr Berry said.

* Anyone who has received the SEA email is asked to send it to firescam@police.govt.nz in order to help police with their investigation.