This section deals specifically with online romance scams.
Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:10 am
It has been almost a year and no issues. It very rarely even crosses my mind at this point. I'm only posting now because I randomly just saw a show where a character had gone through a similar extortion type thing and it made me think about my situation and I just wanted to come back again to offer my heartfelt gratitude to the admins and all those who shared their stories and advice. I have already donated twice, and I encourage others who have benefitted from this site to do the same to make sure it's always available to victims.
I also want to offer my sympathy and reassurance to anybody currently experiencing this quite shitty scenario. For those that are in the middle of it now, imagining every "what if?" scenario and freaking out right now...I totally understand...I was right there as well for a while. I could barely sleep, distracted at work and at home...my mind racing with countless scenarios playing out in my head. I am SO glad that I was able to find this site and forum in a short period of time, because it truly was amazingly helpful and helped alleviate my stress immensely. I think I read almost every relevant post on this site lol.
My advice is simple and the same you will get from the admins: Just FOLLOW the instructions! If you do, it is extremely likely that you will be fine and nothing will happen. And while I know they recommend to delete your account and start with a new one if possible, that was not really an option for me (for reasons I won't go into here) so I did not actually delete my Facebook account (which is where they got me) or any of my other social media accounts. I simply followed the instructions and stayed completely off all social media for more than 3 months. And when I came back on I changed all my profile pics and set all accounts to maximum privacy settings. Everything has been totally fine, I have had no known attempts at being contacted and nothing has been released.
One more time...THANK YOU ADMINS!
Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:21 pm
So it’s just about been three months since I fell victim. I have not been contacted since I went dark and have not seen anything of mine posted online. My situation was pretty similar to other stories mentioned here, but there were a few slight variations:
- They were using Instagram and posing as a profession model/pornstar (took a while for me to realize they were just posing and using some stolen pictures).
- They send the first message, get to talking, mention they are a pornstar and have a profile people “subscribe” to. That’s how it gets moved to Google Hangouts and they request money in the form of gift cards in exchange for pictures and videos for a certain amount of time (days/weeks). They mention the money goes to help their family pay bills and whatnot.
- They straight up ask for pictures of you also which leads to requesting nude pictures of you.
- You get offered more “services” in exchange for more gift cards. That’s how they try to get video of you.
- Trying to get out starts the blackmailing.
Having followed the steps provided on this site helped me tremendously. I actually like not having a Facebook anymore. Reading experiences on here helped show the scammers don’t retaliate. The thing that took me the longest to get over was the fact that I don’t know where they were located. Based on the times they would message and were silent I think they are probably in the time zone that includes Nigeria and Morocco. Their style of English was similar to examples described in this thread, so I really think they are located somewhere in Africa, which helps me mentally knowing a lot of those countries have laws against homosexuality and porn.
(Removed advice related to finding scammer. SH)
Obviously don’t try to go back and make contact with your scammer just to figure out their location if you’ve already followed the steps from this site.
One last thing, I recently heard on a podcast some research that details humans tend to believe things people say and do to be true until it becomes without a doubt false. So it’s just human to believe someone and give them the benefit of the doubt, until too many red flags accumulate or a major even occurs that shows they are lying. The scammers are attacking this part of our psychology and it’s really nothing you did wrong.
Hope some of this helps others since my situation was similar but with some variances.
Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:42 pm
It really makes no difference "Where?" the scammer is located. Our advice works the same on all of them.
If you really want to know...
Your scammer is in Africa. Probably Nigeria or Cote D'Ivoire . Definitely not Morocco.
Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:33 pm
A ok I was hoping for good news for everyone.
I was scammed 5 years ago, sometimes I go back to read to see if there is any news.
I wanted to inform you that a year after the scam, I redid a facebook profile with my real name and photo, I reactivated my old account to see if anyone would contact me. I kept the profiles open for about 6 months, if they were still looking for me they would find me
but it didn't happen, nobody contacted me, closed the accounts (I don't want facebook anymore).
I'm fine now, but sometimes I think about again and I do some research, but nothing ever happened.
Sometimes i search my homonym on facebook, there are many people with my name, many don't have a photo and some are new accounts .. my only fear is (if the video has not been deleted) that scammer thinks that one of these profiles is mine or that one of these new accounts without photo is of the scammer who returns.
Until now my fears have been unfounded, nothing ever happened, those profiles have been always really homonymous (evidently my name is very common). With the passing years I make these thoughts with more objectivity, but sometimes i am afraid these my fears are founded and not the fruit of my paranoia.
I hope some of your words can help me to totally erase these ideas. Inside of me I know i am no longer in danger, but sometimes these thoughts make me forget that it's all over.
Hugs to all
Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:46 pm
I was scammed 5 years ago
Five years is an eternity for blackmail scammers. You have a better chance of being eaten by a shark, struck by lightning, or more realistically, being run over by a bus.
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:42 pm
This was the most horrible expirence I have ever had.
I never actually made it the video stage they just got me with a naked incriminating photo so not much better than a video because it can absolutely ruin my life if he decides to post it to all my fiends and more importantly my wife.
I stupidly lost my head when he was messaging me.
Instead he just tried to blackmail me again and it was at that point I gained clarity this was never going to stop.
I turned off Kik and deleted the account. I then deleted Facebook/Instagram and LinkedIn.
He was threatening to expose the pics but never actually showed me any pictures or links to Facebook friends etc because we never made it off the kik platform.
He does have my name and email address and probably home address. So if he wanted to he could find my wife’s and family’s details and post this pic.
I feel totally ashamed and embarrassed. Let myself down, I’m totally stressed waiting for my wife to just walk in and say what is this.
I have read all your advice and basically already done all of it. Cancelled and deleted all social media. Not cancelled my phone number yet but I will straight away if I get contacted on it.
Day 1 has been extremely hard to deal. With let’s hope the next few months are easier than this
Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:19 pm
I want to thank everyone for participating in this site and especially the moderators. Although it has been less than a week since I was initially scammed through sextortion, I am just beginning to feel a little better. Knowing how common it is and that people got through this adds some comfort so thank you all. My main advice is to listen to your gut. Anything you do online can be seen and used against you.
I wish I listened to my gut with the red flags and didn’t jeopardize my life I worked hard to build over a little “fun.” It happened so quickly and I was vulnerable for a brief period and they preyed on that. Why would an attractive girl be following so many more people than she had following her? Very little engagement on her Instagram. Out of the blue, wants to chat and instantly says I’m attractive and wants to chat on Skype to get to know better. Seemed innocent at first until she asks if I’ve ever done anything with a girl online. Listen to your upper head and don’t fall for it. Worthwhile women will not jump into video sexual that quickly. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. This is their job and they know how to make you feel comfortable and let your guards down.
The moment the scammer flipped the screen and said to pay up and showed the screen shot, my life flashed before my eyes. How could I fall for this and risk my life. My heart sank, my mind raced, and my gut felt like I would throw up. How could I face the world and my family but somehow I knew I had to. I didn’t know where to turn so delayed payment because by saying it would take days to access funds. They said it was unacceptable and they were going to post my video right then to my contacts. I took a deep breath and told them that once they posted it, what would the point to send them money. It would be too late. It gave me time to gather my thoughts, rationalize what I had done and search for answers. I found this site which has been tremendously helpful and comforting.
How I wished I found this site prior to my emotionally costly mistake. Find a way to to get the word out that this is happening frequently. If I had a fresh story of these sextortion scams in my mind, no way I would have fallen for this terrible mistake.
Also, follow the advice here. Discontinue your profiles and clean your web presence. Block the scammer and don’t give them ammunition or your money. It is so tempting to check on them but stay away. I hope they will give up on me. Yes, I am checking YouTube constantly and google search alerts. Hopefully they will not post it and some day I can find some semblance of normalcy and look my family in the eyes with minimal guilt or shame.
After researching some of the scammers on this site, it is easy to see other scam and fake profiles. What a resource here!
This site is so valuable in so many ways that I had to donate. I know we all have different resources but even if you just got some relief here, give something. $10, $25, $100, whatever. If we can all be part of the solution, we can save someone else our pain and suffering.
Thank you again ScamSurvivors!
Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:41 pm
Thank you very much for posting this report of mine up.
As of now, I have already went through the steps and deactivated my Skype and Facebook too but I have not confided nor talk to anyone else about this matter.
I went through a roller coaster of emotions throughout today and I'm very glad that I've found this forum and the helpful list of steps during my googling spree about the sextortion topic.
I was so worried that my compromising pictures would be leaked out to family and friends. At a certain point, I was on this mental tightrope of: "who cares if everyone i know sees my penis" and "i could just end myself".
It has been 12 hours since it happened and I feel much better now. I've been going through post after post in the forum and it is a big relief to see many brother-in-arms recovering smoothly from their incidents.
Thank you again.
Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:11 am
I just got scammed a few days ago, and sadly I did not find this site at that time. I ended up losing some money because of this, but I just see that as my personal idiot tax for falling for the scam.
After the panic died down after sending a bit of money I quickly cut off communication and blocked them. Luckily since my Facebook profile was set to maximum privacy and doesn't have a picture of me (having a fairly common name helps too) I don't think I am in danger of that, but still deactivated it for the time being due to paranoia and after several days of no contact started to calm down, until I noticed that that in one of the screenshots the blackmailer demanded I send while going through the money transfer process had my address on it because I was too stupid and panicked to notice it was there. And well, my paranoia and worry skyrocketed again at this. Just wondering if anyone knows just how worried I should be about that? Judging by where the money was sent this person is in the Philippines so not sure how much they could do with it apart from send a letter, but it still has me freaking out.
Anyone know how worried I should be about this?
Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:53 pm
Well they certainly won't be sending you any letters in the mail. If you deactivated all your social media and changed your phone number, I'd relax. Enjoy all your Christmas Holidays.