Sextortion - What to Do (and What Not to Do)

Dennis Faas's picture

Are you being blackmailed with sextortion (sex extortion)?

Contact me here using the contact form.

IMPORTANT: If you paid the scammers anything at all, they will simply turn around and ask for more. This is how this scam goes 100% of the time. Don't be fooled into thinking a one-time payment will be the end - IT NEVER IS!

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In this article, you will find answers to the following questions:

Sextortion - What To Do

  1. Hire me to fix this problem for you (read why!).
     
  2. Report the profile on social media (won't work).
     
  3. Block the scammers and shut down your social media accounts (not likely to work).
     
  4. Make an announcement to family and friends that your account got hacked (limited results).
     
  5. Tell the scammers you're on life support (limited results).
     
  6. Call the police (not going to work).
     
  7. Hire a lawyer (waste of money - most of the time).

Sextortion - What Not To Do

  1. Pay the sex extortion scammers and trust that they will leave you alone (won't work).
     
  2. Pay the scammers and "buy yourself some time" (may or may not work).
     
  3. Hire a dark web hacker to "delete" your pictures or videos (won't work - scam).
     
  4. Hire a company to "scare" the scammers away (limited results with intangible promises).

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Infopackets Reader Steve C. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I've managed to get myself caught up in sextortion and I don't know what to do. Here's a quick rundown on my story: a few weeks ago I met a woman claiming to be 21 years old on a dating site. I gave her my phone number and we've been texting back and forth. The relationship eventually turned sexual and I sent some pictures.

A few days ago, her 'father' called me on the phone (from a New York area code) and says that she's under age. He's called me repeatedly and says his daughter broke her phone and smashed a window in defiance and they wanted me to pay it. I've already paid $1250 through cash app, but now he says their lawyer is involved and they want to settle for an additional $5000, otherwise they will go to the police with my nudes. After reading your article on sextortion, I realize this is a scam. What are my options? "

Related:

My response:

What you're referring to is the "she's underage" version of the sextortion scam.

Before I get into explaining this, let me introduce myself. My name is Dennis Faas and I run this site, and I've been online for 21 years helping people with technology-related issues. Friends call me by my first name - but clients call me the Sextortion Savior - and for good reason: I have all the answers. And, as someone that has specialized in cyber crimes since 2014, I can attest that the question "Sextortion - What to do?" comes up quite frequently.

Welcome to my church!

I'll explain some options below and weigh the pros and cons. It's important to understand that the scammers have most of this already figured out in terms of what you can do, and so your options are going to be very limited.

This article is lengthy and provides you with pros and cons to many approaches when it comes to deciding what to do with regard to sextortion. At bare minimum you might want to read about hiring me because I have an all-encompassing plan to get you out of this mess. If you don't have time to read it, you can skip to a certain section below, or contact me here (paid support).

Sextortion - What To Do

Please allow me to preach the gospel and provide you with real-world options.

1. Hire me to fix this problem for you (read why!).

Let's start with some shameless self promotion before considering the other options.

When it comes to sex extortion, I can tell you firsthand that what scammers do is not only humiliating, but infuriating when it comes time to expose you. The good news is that it's completely preventable with my help.

I am a subject matter expert (SME) on the topic of sextortion and have completed over 750+ cases. For the last 2 years, I've listened to what my clients said and have developed an all-encompassing plan to limit and completely prevent your exposure in almost all cases.

My plan and ideas are based on 750+ cases I've worked on, based on tough situation clients have been put in, and had to deal with. Simply put: I have multiple contingency plans to get you out of this mess - even if you are exposed.

  • Need an excuse to delay the scammers right this minute? I've got 8 convincing scenarios ready to go - including pictures you can send to scammers to show that you're actively trying to get the money they're asking for. Believe me, they are going to ask you for pictures if you try to delay them.
     
  • Did you sign up for Ashley Madison or meet a super-hot beautiful woman online somewhere, and don't want your wife or girlfriend to find out? I've got multiple ways to prevent your exposure, plus 5 excuses you can use to explain it even if you are exposed. One of these excuses was contributed by a police officer that purchased my plan! Want proof? Click here to listen to the audio call I had with the police officer, in which he profusely thanked me for my help.

    Here is a quote from the call:

    "Dennis is awesome. He's a live safer ... Anytime I call he always answers and he always takes his time to help ... Thank you so much, I appreciate all your help. [The money I spent] was well worth it! ... [After implementing your plan] the last few nights I've been able to sleep ... I can't thank you enough ... If I ever hear anyone that has this problem, I will direct them to you." ~ Police Officer
     
  • Are the scammers targeting your kids with your nudes? I've got ways to prevent it AND explain it - if you need to.
     
  • Not sure what to do about your job or school? I'll tell you how to handle this gracefully.

Simply put: I've got all the answers.

The biggest and most recurring compliment I get from clients is that "You've not only given me a sense of peace, but you've also given me a way out of this mess!"

In fact, a police officer that hired me a few weeks ago was thrilled with my service and said he was going to recommend me to his police officer friends and any civilians that might need my service. It's not too often a police officer thanks YOU for YOUR service! How awesome is that? I can't make this stuff up. Want proof? Click here to listen to the audio call I had with the police officer, in which he profusely thanked me for my help.

Typical turnaround time to complete your case is 1-3 days. That's the fastest time for this type of service on the Internet - and you don't need to pay a premium price to get it. Other services take substantially longer and charge astronomical fees. Interested in learning more? Contact me here.

Still on the fence? Want to learn more about me? Here's some info: I have dedicated my entire professional career (21 years) helping others with technology-related issues (click here to read all 2,000+ of my articles). Since 2014, I've shifted focus to cyber crime mitigation, including technical support fraud and most recently, sextortion. Want proof of what I just said? Click here to view my credentials; click here to see my Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science (1999); click here to read an article written about me by Alan Gardyne of Associate Programs (2003); click here to view a recommendation for my services from the University of Florida (dated 2006).

Now let's move to other approaches commonly used to when answering the question "Sextortion - What to do?"

2. Report the profile on social media (won't work).

You can report the profile that is coming after you, but this has zero effect on the outcome. Based on my research, I know that scammers own multiple fake accounts on all social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, etc). If the scammers leave a trail of evidence when they threatened you (in chat, group chat, on a public post, etc) it will all disappear when they "permanently delete" their account.

Technically speaking, the "permanently deleted" account is not deleted, but instead goes to sleep for 30 days. All evidence disappears the moment the account is "deleted" - until the account is reactivated.

If the account is not reactivated at this point, it will be truly be permanently deleted (for real) after 30 days - but scammers won't let this happen because fake accounts are a difficult commodity. These are the top 4 countries I hear about the most when it comes to sex extortion because that's where the money goes.

Simply put: if you reported the scammer account to Facebook, Instagram, etc, it is up to moderators to investigate the issue. We're talking massive communities of millions and billions of profiles, so moderators won't get to the request until hours after you report it, and by then the account "no longer exists" because the account is "asleep" and all evidence disappears.

The end result: nothing is achieved.

3. Block the scammers and shut down your social media accounts (not likely to work).

Most clients I speak to tell me they shut down their social media and blocked the scammers thinking that the problem is going to go away on its own. In 98% of all cases I've worked on, this won't work.

Here's why: the moment you said hello, the scammers downloaded an offline copy of your social media accounts, researched your name online, did a reverse lookup on your phone number, etc. If you don't stay in communication with them so they can keep on threatening you - so you keep on paying - they are likely to reach out your friends / family / followers / job / school in order to expose you.

Don't want that to happen? Contact me now and put this nightmare behind you in as little as 3 days.

4. Make an announcement to family and friends that your account got hacked (limited results).

Many of the sextortion victims I talk to inform me that they've made an announcement on social media that their account got hacked and have instructed family and friends not to open up messages from strangers. Speaking from experience: this is definitely not going to work. The scammers know how to get around this issue - and I'll share this information if you decide to hire me.

5. Tell the scammers you're on life support (limited results).

You can get creative and come up with an excuse as to why you can't pay. For example: you can tell them you have COVID-19 and you're in the hospital on life support.

Be careful here - the scammers will call your bluff and demand photographic proof you're in the hospital. Believe me, they will. They hear excuses all day long and will cut right through the bullshit. If you don't have the proof, they will go mental and threaten to expose you.

(On the other hand: I've got this completely covered with 8 ready-to-go made up excuses with pictures you can use to get these third-world sacks of poo off your back - but only available if you purchase my plan. Interested? Contact me here).

6. Call the police (not going to work).

In most cases the police will tell you to not pay anything and/or block the scammers. I've already explained why shutting down social media won't work per #3 reason above. If you want proof that you filed a report in order to save your job: this is a good approach because it shows you're concerned, but it won't do anything in terms of preventing your exposure. If you want help with that, you can hire me.

7. Hire a lawyer (waste of money - most of the time).

You can hire a lawyer to scare the sex extortion scammers away using a cease and desist letter (valued at $3,000), but this will have extremely limited results - and it's really expensive.

Here's why: unless you met this person face-to-face in the same physical room, chances are you are dealing with an overseas scammer (such as: Africa, Philippines, Morocco, India, etc).

Showing an overseas scammer a cease and desist letter from a lawyer will likely result in your exposure because the scammers simply don't care about the law. These are criminals, after all. For this reason, the scammers are operating with practical impunity because they are in another country, and because they are anonymous. What good is a letter from a lawyer going to do?

Want a cheaper alternative? Contact me here - I've got a MUCH better plan to offer.

Sextortion - What Not To Do

1. Pay the sex extortion scammers and trust that they will leave you alone (won't work).

In 100% of all cases I've worked on where the victim pays money, the scammers ALWAYS turn around and ask for more once payment is received. Unfortunately, most people that contact me say they've already paid.

From the scammer's perspective: there is no reason for them to stop extorting you for money because they own your pictures and videos and will keep using it to blackmail you no matter what they say.

Think about this: you got caught up in this scam because you were lied from the get-go. There's no reason to believe anything the scammers tell you will be the truth moving forward. This is blackmail after all!

2. Pay the scammers and "buy yourself some time" (may or may not work).

Most victims I talk to say that they paid "a little bit" to make the scammers go away in order to "buy some time". In rare cases, this works - but not for long.

Here's why: the scammers work in groups and pass your information to other scammers within the group. Sometimes your name sits in a pool with other victims and you're talking to 2-3 scammers at the same time.

If you paid the scammers money today and they promise to leave you alone for a week - THINK AGAIN - because you'll be talking to someone new tomorrow and they'll demand you pay them immediately regardless of what agreement you had yesterday. This is how it goes 100% of the time. You've been warned!

Don't want to pay anything to the scammers? Contact me here and this nightmare will end in as little as 3 days.

3. Hire a dark web hacker to "delete" your pictures or videos (won't work - scam)

If you've researched "sextortion - what to do" online, you've most likely come across posts on Quora and similar where someone claims to have hired a dark web hacker to magically leap into the sextortionist's devices and had their explicit pictures and videos deleted.

THIS IS 100% A SCAM.

If it was as easy as hiring a "hacker" to change things around every time something goes wrong in life, then the world would be upside down because no one would be able to do any kind of online banking in confidence. Think about it!

I recently spoke to a client that hired a supposed dark web hacker, in which case the "hacker" demanded that the client pay a substantial "tip" for the service. The client refused. Now the "hacker" is claiming to expose him, plus the original sex extortion scammers are saying the same.

In this case, the client went from one scam to the next. You've been warned!

Want a real senior systems administrator to help you with this problem? Contact me here. No smoke and mirrors - just solid advice and a solid plan to offer! Can I get an 'amen!'

4. Hire a company to "scare" the scammers away (limited results with intangible promises)

Some clients have told me they spoke to a company that claimed to scare the overseas criminals away and/or incarcerate the overseas criminals and/or force the overseas criminals to delete the client's pictures and videos. With promises like that, it almost sounds too good to be true.

Let's break this down.

(a) Can you scare an overseas sextortion scammer into leaving you alone?

Sometimes it can be done, but a lot of times it doesn't work. Here's why -

There's three commonly used ways to scare a scammer:

  • using link tracking through instant messaging
  • using an invisible tracking pixel in email, and
  • using a cease and desist letter from a lawyer

When it comes to link and pixel tracking, you will need to convince the scammers to click on a link (usually through instant messaging), or email the scammer with an embedded image used for tracking. While this is not impossible to do, the fact is that some scammers will simply refuse to click on tracking links, or are uninterested in communicating over email. Moreover, if the scammer was using a VPN (virtual private network), the tracking methods would be invalid.

It's important to understand that an IP address only provides an approximate location of the scammer. IP addresses are not hard-coded to devices such as smartphones, and PCs. IP addresses are in fact leased by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and delegated by nearby servers - typically up to a 400 km square radius. To suggest that a scammer can be pinpointed based on their geo-location is stretching the truth at best. Even if an IP was collected and passed onto authorities, they would need wait for the ISP to investigate. How much time do you have to wait for this to happen?

A third option is to purchase a cease and desist letter from a lawyer. Speaking from experience, I've had multiple clients do this. Most of the time, it doesn't work because the scammers are overseas, anonymous, and have no regard for the law. Even if you scared one away, another one is likely to come back because they share your information within a group.

(b) As for promises of incarcerating overseas criminals, that's really difficult to prove. What happens if this promise is not followed through? Are you going to pay more for continued protection that you can't see or touch?

Consider this: historically speaking, it took almost a decade for the United States government to hunt down and kill Osama Bin Laden, and that was with the entire US military and billions of dollars at their disposal. In contrast, how likely is it for a company to achieve this by first obtaining an approximate location of the scammer, and then making a phone call to overseas law enforcement hoping that they'll follow through with the request to catch the bad guys? This is not likely, especially considering this scam is on a massive scale and that overseas law enforcement have their own issues to take care of.

(c) Lastly, forcing the scammers to delete your nudes sounds like a fantastic solution - but the reality is quite different. Even if the scammers provided video proof that your information was deleted, you have no way of knowing if what you saw is true or if there's another copy floating around somewhere else within the group. This means you'll likely be contacted again in the near future with additional threats.

While it's nice to have a third-party manage your sextortion case, the fact is that you really don't know what's going on, and you just have to take their word that they are doing what they say that are doing. Also, what happens if the company isn't able to make good on their promises? Having to pay for protection that essentially leaves you in the dark the entire way through and with promises that are intangible seems inherently wrong.

Quite surprisingly, I've heard from clients that said they later "upgraded" their protection with a company for thousands of dollars more because they were told that the scammers might come back in the near future. (It obviously didn't work because they were now asking for my help at this point).

Comparatively speaking, the plan I'm offering is fully hands-on and 100% transparent. It's easy to follow, takes 2 hours the first day to complete, and 1 hour a day for up to 3 days in total. With my plan, you can start on it straight away without having to pay a premium price to start sooner rather than later. If the scammers come back again later, you can re-use my plan without having to pay for extra protection.

I think that's fair, don't you?

Contact me here if you agree. Leave your phone number if you want the fastest response. I'll send you a recorded call in the mean time in case I'm not available.

I hope that helps!

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About the author: Dennis Faas is the CEO and owner of Infopackets.com. Since 2001, Dennis has dedicated his entire professional career helping others with technology-related issues with his unique style of writing in the form of questions-and-answers; click here to read all 2,000+ of Dennis' articles online this site. In 2014, Dennis shifted his focus to cyber crime mitigation, including technical support fraud and in 2019, sextortion. Dennis has received many accolades during his tenure: click here to view Dennis' credentials online DennisFaas.com; click here to see Dennis' Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science (1999); click here to read an article written about Dennis by Alan Gardyne of Associate Programs (2003). And finally, click here to view a recommendation for Dennis' services from the University of Florida (dated 2006).

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