The most commonly asked questions in our live help room, and their answers.

Do I really need to deactivate Facebook for 2 weeks?  I’ve changed my security/username already.  YES!!!  Seriously, if it wasn’t essential then we wouldn’t be telling you to do it.  In fact, it’s the #1 thing you need to do.

How about if I just deactivate it for a few days?  That’ll be OK, right?  Sure, a few days is fine – if you want your scammer to contact you again.  Knock yourself out, but don’t say we didn’t warn you and don’t expect any further help from us when the scammer threatens you again.  The 2 week mark is there for a good reason.  

What about any of the other steps?  Which ones can I skip?  Umm, none of them maybe?  You think we’d throw in any steps that aren’t necessary just for the hell of it?

I’ve done all the steps.  Is there anything else I should do?  Well, there is 1 more step, but we only give that to people who donate.  Really, do you think we keep any steps back?  If there’s something you need to do, then it’ll be in the steps at www.blackmailscams.com

It’s been 3 days, am I safe now?  2 weeks is the minimum time we say to keep your accounts deactivated for.  Ask us after that.

What are the odds they’ll post the video?  Followed all the steps at www.blackmailscams.com?  We estimate less than a 1 in 1000 chance.  

But what if I’m that 1 out of 1000?  But what if you’re 1 out of the 999?  

Do the scammers keep the videos?  Nope.  Short reason why: just being found with the videos can land them in jail.  Would you risk it?

But they may keep them just in case I become famous, right?  No!  No, no, no, no, no!!!  Or in other words, no.

Maybe they’ll send the video anyway because I blocked them.  They said they would.  And what would be the point?  It’s easier for them to simply move on to someone else.  After all, they can have up to 40 or so victims a day.  

But they showed me a list of my friends and family!!  Yeah, that’s kind of how the scam works.  Threatening to do something and actually doing it are two completely different things though.  Blocking them is essential.

My video’s listed as private.  That means I can’t get it removed, right?  www.scamsurvivors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=580 covers that, as well as many other questions.

How do you know all this?  10 years’ experience in dealing with scams, around 30 years’ experience between us, plus thousands of cases we’ve dealt with.

Can I trust you?  You might be a scam yourself.  Then we’ve done a pretty damn good job in convincing the media, site owners, the dating site industry, the Metropolitan police and the FBI that we’re genuine.  We’re good, but we’re not THAT good. 

So, my video…..  IF it shows up, the Google alert that was one of the steps will tell you.  Report it, and the site will remove it.  Sometimes within 60 seconds of your report reaching them.  That’s what the Google alert is for.

Why are you telling me not to report my scammer?  If the scammer decided to quit after their profile was killed, then we’d be screaming for people to do it.  What do you think they actually do?  Move onto a new account (or one of several they already made fully expecting this to happen) and continue scamming.  Plus, any reports out there about them are now out of date, potentially hampering any law enforcement investigations. 

My story is different to the others here.  I’ll bet it’s not.  Every time someone’s said that to us, it really wasn’t.  

Can I talk to a mod/admin in private?  We’ve removed the PM option in the help room, so that everything is discussed openly.  To enable PM, I have to log out, go into the control panel, reenable PM, save the change, log back in, do the PM, log back out, go back into the control panel, disable PM again, then log back in.  In other words, no.   

Why do you do this?  It’s the right thing to do.  Sometimes that’s all the reason a person needs.

So this like, your job, right?  We’re all volunteers.  We do this for free, and cover the fees to run the site by placing ads on the site and accepting donations.  No one’s getting rich from this site.  In fact, no one’s making any money from this site.

How can I help?  Spread the word, that’d be a great help.  Oh, and a donation would be nice too.

This entry will be periodically updated.

iDate London.

We have something to look forward to.  Some of you may remember my discussing iDate in Vegas earlier this year.  iDate runs 3 conferences a year.  The next one is in London from October 14th to 16th.  Once again I’m speaking, and this time the subject will be webcam blackmail.  You can see the agenda page at https://www.internetdatingconference.com/agenda-london-2015.php

This year, there’ll be three people talking about online scams: myself at 3:30, Monica Whitty from the University of Leicester at 4:00 and then Dave Wiseman from Scamalytics at 4:30.  The other converences I’ve attended (Germany last year and Vegas earlier this year) have been really interesting, educational and a great way to both get our name and message out as well as make some very good contacts in the dating industry.

That however isn’t the best part of it personally.  For the first time, three of the volunteers from the site will be able to meet up in person.  Slaphappy has met Big Al, I’ve met Firefly, but in London FF and I will also have the chance to meet Big Al who’s flying in from the USA.  Couple days of sightseeing, then off to London for the conference.  If things work out, then I’ll also be at the Miami iDate in January next year and I’m hoping to get to meet Slappy for the first time there.  After the event I’ll share stories about it,  with none about having to fly this time.

There are no mythical “extra steps”.

The number of times we get asked “are there any other steps I should take?” is unbelievable.  There are no mythical “extra steps” just like there’s no mythical “back room” where shops keep extra stock of things that are sold out.  If there’s a step, we’re going to tell you about it.  Why exactly would we want to keep any to ourselves?  What would we have to gain?  We’re not going “why yes, there is an extra step that’ll make everything OK, but to get it you need to pay us a hundred bucks”.  If there’s a step you need to do, it’s posted with all the other steps.   Now please stop asking us!!!