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Benefit from our years of experience with scammers.
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Re: recovery and reassurance

Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:23 pm

Should I delete my profile from other dating sites I am on?

Re: recovery and reassurance

Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:17 pm


As you hopefully read in the last links I gave to you, everything used by you with a scammer is compromised and should be changed. In your case, they were close to successful in scamming you. It's good that you were suspicious when he asked for money. EVERY TIME anyone asks for money online for anything, even 5 dollars to recharge his cell phone, they are a scammer. Only scammers ask for money. Real people NEVER DO. As soon as anyone does, drop them instantly without a word, and post their details here to warn others.

Another thing that scammers do as soon as they can is to get compromising photos or videos of the victim, so that at a later time, they will have ammunition to blackmail them. So, any time your new "love you have never met in person" asks for risqué stuff, consider that a huge warning sign that you may have a scammer on your hands, and refuse all attempts.

Because of the fact that a scammer has your details, I'd say it is advisable to close all your dating profiles for awhile.
If you used the same username, email address, phone number, pictures on another dating site, he or others he sold your information to might be able to find you to make another scam attempt. During the time that you are off of dating sites, learn how to identify a scammer, long before he asks for money, as by the time he does you may not be able to say, "No!" to him. They practice effective brainwashing techniques, and usually by 3-4 months of talking and developing their fantasy world in your head, most victims are not able to refuse the first payment request.

The links I gave you should help you to avoid scammers, as will other topics in this section. Listen to our podcasts with interviews of survivors of scams, too.

Re: recovery and reassurance

Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:23 pm

Thanks for the assistance. I feel really stupid but it’s my first time online after a long marriage. Lesson learned. How long should I stay off all dating websites?

Re: recovery and reassurance

Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:32 pm

Until you are really confident that you can spot them in the first few minutes, or when they show their hand by saying or doing one of the red flags in the reading here. Stay offline at least as long as you have been talking to this guy.

Bottom line is if they ask for any money at all or start to claim they are having some kind of money problems, they are absolutely, positively, 100% scammers.

Paranoid, but recovering.

Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:27 pm

Today marks two weeks and a day since my scammer activity and I hope that I am not being premature in posting this. I have not been personally contacted since the day after however, the scammer did post a comment on one of my wife’s posts (which we didn’t realize was still Public) earlier this week, causing her to have to change all of her FB settings and deactivate her account. This is tough because she runs a business from social media, so now we will have to rethink her name and page via social media.

Every day I am still paranoid and looking over my digital shoulder. Yes, I have followed all of the steps, shutting down (deactivating) my FB account, closing my Twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn accounts. I have shut down the phone used during the scam, and even closed my associated email account, which I’ve had since it was a beta offering through the provider (more than 10 years!). I come back to this site almost daily to see the activity the night before, read how others are recovering, see if I can pick up some tips, review how the experts attempt to ease the suffering we survivors are feeling – most times it helps. Still, every time I hear an unfamiliar text tone, or see an unknown number pop-up on my phone or even my wife’s phone, I get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and even get a little shaky. In the past two weeks, I have lost almost 15 lbs. (yes, this is a positive side effect of this incident, I could certainly stand to lose the weight), and I find myself researching things I never even really cared about a few weeks ago. Things like “how to disappear digitally” and “just avoid social media” and “going off the grid”. There is a very strong possibility I’ll not ever go back on social media I will however help my wife figure out how we can get her back online and promoting – safely – her business. I'm open to suggestions?

Thank you, creators and moderators, for setting this site up, for assisting us survivors, for putting out a place to vent and for responding to us and our needs. Thank you too for recognizing that we are human and make mistakes, and that demented individuals who prey on that weakness, do exist. I do still have worries and concerns, such as why Google Alerts is not picking up on sites like (I tested by having someone upload a video with my name all over it) and what will keep the scammers from actually reading this site also, and getting ideas of how to avoid being avoided? Maybe as SlapHappy said though, I am “overthinking” or being too paranoid?

Everyone have a wonderful day and remember that recovery starts with you, and when you finally chose to no longer be the victim.

Re: recovery and reassurance

Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:58 pm

It might take google awhile to index files. But why would a scammer bother to reupload a video if he has nobody to send it to as all your accounts are deactivated? There is no MONEY in doing that. You will not pay, and he knows it. He has 30-40 others that are far easier to get MONEY from.

What keeps scammers from reading this site and getting tips on how to avoid being avoided?
Most blackmail scammers can read the site. Most do not waste time reading it, as there is no MONEY in doing so. If you close every avenue to them contacting you, they cannot threaten any more. This means no more MONEY for them in even trying. Blackmail scammers have not changed their methods in the last six years that we have been doing this, despite the fact that some probably have read our site at least once. Victim behavior is the same, and their methods work enough to keep them well funded, so why change? Every day they have more potential victims than they can handle in a day.
It's about speed and volume, and chasing the easy MONEY from as many new victims as possible. It is not about YOU personally. Look at it from their perspective, and step into their shoes. Would you bother to spend time reuploading videos and finding disappeared victims who probably will not pay, or deal with the six others on your screen bombarding you with chat requests and looking for attention?

In another three weeks before your wife comes back online, read this:
Worried about online privacy? How to set up Facebook privacy settings
Do you know who can see what on your Facebook profile? Follow our guide to find out. ... 3802641202

Basic Privacy Settings & Tools | Facebook Help Center | Facebook

I get 4-5 scam calls/day myself, but all are screened by an answering machine, or voicemail. I never pick up unless I know who it is, or they leave a message. You are probably paranoid about the calling, and have gotten them before the scam as well, as it's most likely other phone robo scammers.

Reading other bm topics here will also keep your head in your own scam unnecessarily, and probably does more harm than good, keeping the wheels spinning in your head. Remember, the forms here are what happened to the victims before they go here, saw the steps and did them, so any "bad things" occurred while they were still in contact with the scammer.
Get back to eating normally and real life, as you cannot think straight with low blood sugar. Getting back to real life offline is more important right now.

Re: recovery and reassurance

Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:11 am

It's been a little over 3 weeks since my event happened. I submitted the form 2 weeks ago, but didn't register an account until now. I got scammed over OKCupid then Skype like many others. I ended up paying $, but then was asked for another $. I told them that I didn't have the money and that I would get paid in two weeks. They gave me a month for the second payment.

Immediately after (before I read not to do it on here), I got their skypes and okcupid account banned. Their fake facebook got banned as well. I believe that they only had access to 8 of my friends who had liked my most recent profile pic. Out of those 8, 2 of them got messaged by the fake account before it got banned. Apparently they didn't send the video in those messages.

Two weeks passed, and they didn't try to contact me in any way that I could see since blocking their number. I ended up getting 5 text messages and 2 voice mails in the middle of the night from a random number not in my state. The text messages weren't threatening, but seemed to be fishing for a response: asking how am I and stuff. I blocked the second number immediately without responding. I ended up randomly checking this site again recently, and it turns out that my suspicion was correct: the number was listed in a report by another person victimized by the same Skype account. And now after about 3 weeks, I discovered that you could check blocked voicemails on my phone and found another call from the second number dated from yesterday. My phone number and email are the only ways left that they can try to contact me (since everything else is deactivated), which I'd rather wait out than have to change them. I figure they will continue until shortly after the one month "due date."

Re: recovery and reassurance

Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:03 am

You should restart the waiting period every time the scammer tries to contact you.

Re: recovery and reassurance

Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:40 pm

I'd rather wait out than have to change them. I figure they will continue until shortly after the one month "due date."

If you do not change your phone number, you do so at your own peril. Any opening left to a scammer to contact you means escalation is more likely. And since you paid once, and they have tried numerous times to recontact you, I'd advise you to change your phone number and double the waiting period as a minimum since "last contact attempt."

Re: recovery and reassurance

Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:07 pm

It's been nearly three weeks since I was scammed. It was a truly horrible experience but thanks to the advice given on this site, I followed all the instructions and - fingers crossed - the scammers haven't contacted me as far as I am aware for two weeks (hopefully they will have moved on).

I won't go into the details of my scam here as it is a variation of the same that many have fallen for.

Of course I initially felt shame and embarrassment. The best thing I did, after having found this site and followed the instructions, was to tell those closest to me. All of whom, without exception, was sympathetic and poured cold water on the fire of paranoia and shame. All this really helped to get things into perspective. I had done something foolish but nothing wrong.

Now on the mend, I can look at the positives that have emerged from this episode. Talking to my friends and family confirmed that I have very good friends who love and support me (something that maybe I hadn't recognised). I have also taken it as a wake-up call to extricate myself from the dark fantasy world of the internet and get on with living real life.

I think I can definitely call myself a survivor now. The advice and support offered by this site was and is extraordinary, the work that the do is so valuable. I don't know how I would have coped with out it. I have donated $50 and hope that helps you guys in some way. Thank you for everything.
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