Benefit from our years of experience with scammers.
Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:11 pm
July 7, 2019 marked one year since my attempted Sextortion Scam and I firmly believe it's finally over and feel freedom from that event. I will apologize ahead of time for the length of this post. I wanted to be sure I got it all out. Be well and follow the guidance of these fine folks.
My story is no different, really, than anyone elses on here. I "met" someone online (Facebook), we had several mutual friends, the profile covered all of the details of a local person so I accepted the friend request. Over the next day or so, we had some good conversation, s(he) sent me some pics and asked me for some in return. I did not return any pics to the requester, but the next day, I did accept an invitation to video chat; not really sure why I did, but I did. Within about 3 min, the person on the video had removed their clothes and was enticing me to do the same. Honestly, a few days after the scam, I started really thinking about it and there were some immediate red flags - other than the obvious hints that someone was sending me nudes within hours of online meeting - one big flag was that "she lost her audio". But I went through with it anyway. I pleasured myself to "her" video and yes, I shared my video with "her". That was it, the few minutes of video we shared, was all it took, the scammer had me, and they knew it!
A couple of hours went by, I guess that's how long it took them to put everything together, and then the messages started rolling in. The threats of reporting me to the authorities, the reports that "she" worked for a company that puts people like me away and goes after pedefiles and womaizers. Men who take advantage of innocent women online and prey on their victims. Now, initially I wasn't too worried, I mean hell, so what, I m***urbate to video of women, big deal right? Well, they sent me a link to a video they assembled of me, which about destroyed me inside. They titled it something like "(First and Last Name, masturbates in front of 8 year old girl"! I turned white as a ghost, I immediately got nauseous and teared up. Again, I could care less if someone had a video of me jerking it, but to infer that I did it in front of a child was just sickening.
After about an hour, maybe two, time stops when you are in this situation, I confronted my wife. I told her everything I had done - including the video. I held nothing back, I covered every transaction, every video call, every pic exchanged. We argued - for good reason - she screamed at me, she told me what an "ASS" I was and begged me to help her understand why I did what I did. Another hour or so went by and we pulled ourselves together - for now - and started looking at how we could get out from this. We called the police and filed a report - yes, I shared all the details with them too. The police informed me that legally, I did nothing wrong and really, the scammers and their blackmail was the illegal act. I contacted the FBI and some other US government agencies. I provided them everything too. Then, I found ScamSurvivors, I found their site to report the blackmail attempt and by now, as I'm sure some of you can imagine, I was skeptical of everything. So I did hours of research, let's face it, I couldn't sleep. I finally decided to register my story, seek help from the folks on this site.
ScamSurvivors and their members didn't let me down. They gave me tons of information and guidance - FOLLOW THEIR SUGGESTIONS - they provide me a non judgemental avenue to vent my concerns, talk about my situation, help. The moderators of this site have experience, they have knowledge and more over, they have a clear path to freeing you from these sammers. To everyone on here, moderator or other, who have helped me over the year since my event, THANK YOU! You have all be a bright spot in all of this. I am far more skeptical now than ever before. I scrutinize more now than I ever have, about my online activities and friendships. I watch more closely, the things I do in a public setting. Basically, I'm a better human - I think - for the events that occured. By the way, my wife and I are still together (she's a great woman) and our marriage is probably even better and stronger now (more than 30 years together). Truth is, these things happen. People get scammed for various reasons, maybe they want the attention, maybe they are just gullible, maybe they have an overactive sexual appetite? Regardless, it happens. If you follow the guidance of the people on here, people like me who have been through it, you will come out on the other side and feel better for it.
Thank you ScamSurviors, thank you for helping me and countless other.
Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:51 pm
Thank you for your post. It is never easy to regain control of your life back after such events - but you are another case showing that it can be done.
Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:34 pm
First, this site and forum have helped immensely. I’m coming up on two months since being scammed and things are getting better. So thank you to all the site administrators and everyone else posting stories about recovery.
I haven’t heard anything from the scammer, but I do get worried sometimes that they will just “dump” whatever they have out on the internet. I do have google alerts set up and I just got one that seems sketchy. It looks like the file is hosted on hotlink.cc, has anyone ever seen or heard of this site? I can’t figure out if it’s legit or just another way to release the blackmail material. It looks like a file was uploaded that had a file name of CF-mylastname-myfirstname.mp4. Does anyone know what the CF stands for? My scammer only had pictures of me and used screenshots to blackmail me, so the .mp4 video file makes me think I’m still ok unless they decided to make a video of scrolling through the chat conversation.
Thought I’d post about my current experience, how I was recovering. I don’t know if I need to worry about this alert I got, it seems to be a premium membership only download, but I’d be worried about it getting into some hands that then distribute it differently.
Thanks for all the help in recovery and advice!
Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:01 pm
As an addition/edit to my last post right above, the way you set up google alerts matters. For advice/instructions to pass around for setting these alerts up, type in "firstname" "lastname". Each name should be in its own quotes. If you use "firstname lastname", both names within one set of quotes, then it will only search and alert for that specific phrase. Putting both names in their own quotes returns all combinations of alerts. For example, my alert for "firstname" "lastname" returned the alert for the above file with the names in the opposite order and with dashes between them. It did not get caught by my other alert of "firstname lastname".
Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:50 pm
Actually, putting each part of your name individually will make it more confusing and give you many false positives. Let me explain. Let's say for example that your name is Joe Jones. The way you describe would tell you if any page has the words "joe" and/or (depending on how you set it up) "jones". If there's a page with a Joe Smith and David Jones mentioned in it, the alert would flag that up despite it not having anything to do with you because it's seen the words "joe" and "jones". In almost every case we've ever seen, the scammer used the person's name with the forename first and surname second. You just happen to be the exception that proves the rule.
Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:22 pm
Thanks Wayne! I hadn't considered that, but you're right. There does seem to be a good number of people with my name, so googling me isn't easy. Any alert I get is few and far between. The fact this alert had my last name first makes me think the file isn't related to me, coupled with the fact its been nearly two months since my scammer tried to contact me. They only have my email at this point, and even though I blocked them, that just puts their email into the spam/junk folder automatically, so I'd still see if they sent something.
In your experience, have you come across the hotlink.cc site? It looks like its a file sharing site. I didn't bother clicking the link that had my name 1) because it was only available to premium subscribers, and 2) I have become very paranoid about clicking stuff. I know the odds are low that the alert/file has anything to do with me, but I guess that fear of my scammer being able to just dump whatever they have from everyone they have scammed is always in the back of my mind.
Thanks again for all the support and help!
Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:24 pm
It is as you say, a file sharing site. I wouldn't worry too much about it to be honest. Odds are it's completely unrelated.
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:51 am
It's been over 6 months since I was extorted.
I'm dumber than most, I broadcast myself on a site. I think it was part of a breakdown of sorts. I was working over 70 hours a week and seriously not making good decisions.
The day after I was contacted on instagram by someone with the same name as the "girl" I was chatting with. I blocked them right away but was then soon contacted by another fake account. I deleted my instagram account and don't intend to ever create one again.
What scares me is that I didn't use any real details. Fake name fake everything. I lied about my age, height and location, yet they found me. It took them a day yet they found me. This makes me think they were using some form of facial recognition. If they were I'll never be safe to show my face online. I worry that one day I'll get tagged in an image and they'll track me down again.
I'm still getting bad anxiety attacks. How do I know when this is over?
Also I've not told anyone about this. How have you found the courage to get help?
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:49 pm
ReallyDumbGuy wrote:What scares me is that I didn't use any real details. Fake name fake everything. I lied about my age, height and location, yet they found me. It took them a day yet they found me. This makes me think they were using some form of facial recognition. If they were I'll never be safe to show my face online. I worry that one day I'll get tagged in an image and they'll track me down again.
They're not that technologically advanced. Odds are you left some breadcrumb to your real identity there without realising it.
If you did the steps at www.blackmailscams.com
and haven't heard from them in 6 months, it's highly unlikely they're going to come back to you. 6 months is a lifetime when it comes to this type of scam, and they would have moved on a long time ago.
Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:02 pm
"They're not that technologically advanced. Odds are you left some breadcrumb to your real identity there without realising it."
Thanks, that actually helps me calm down a bit.
I haven't followed all the steps as I didn't record anything. It was so long ago that I've forgotten even the names they used. At the time I was in panic.
But I've not responded to them, even once. I hope that's enough to put them off for good. I'll remain locked down on social media. My paranoia has led me to research a lot on facial recognition and that alone makes me want to keep my photos on lock down forever. I just wish I had this attitude before I decided to stream my stupid self. I'm still pissed off at my self for making such a poor choice.
Thanks so much for this site. It's been helping me deal with this. I wish I'd been able to provide you with some info on these blackmailers.