Blackmailed on Google Hangouts? Here's What to Do

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Shane J. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I found your article on Google after researching the Facebook blackmail scam.

I desperately need help - I have fallen victim to a similar scam, known as the Google Hangouts Blackmail scam. Two days ago I received a friend request from a beautiful woman on Facebook who lives in my city. We started messaging back and forth, and within 20 minutes of the chat, she sent some revealing photos of herself. She then requested we go to Google Hangouts to continue chatting. I then entered into a video chat where she was fully unclothed and touching areas below her waist.

She texted me and asked to reciprocate by showing my face and my privates. As soon as I did that, the video chat ended immediately and she made threats to ruin my life. She then sent me pictures of my family and friends on Facebook and demanded $15,000 to delete my video, or else it would be uploaded all over the Internet.

I don't have that much money, and managed to negotiate down to $300. She told me to wire the money using a fake name to a pawn shop in Ivory Coast, Africa using MoneyGram. Within an hour, I received confirmation that the money was picked up. Today I received another text message that the video wasn't fully deleted (sent to the recycle bin) and to complete the process I needed to send another $400 using CashApp to another location in Ivory Coast, Africa. That transaction has now been completed and now she's demanding another $14,300 to complete the "final stages" of deletion.

If I don't send the money, she has promised to glue posters of me labeled as a pedophile all around my city and will also share my videos online. She's now asking for $500 a week as a payment plan until the full $14,300 is paid. She now has my email address and cell phone number from my Moneygram receipt (which I sent to her as proof of payment) and keeps texting me non-stop asking when I'm going to send more money. I am married and I don't know what to do and I NEED HELP NOW getting rid of this Google Hangouts Blackmail scam! "

Update 20210326: I'm getting a lot of emails from folks that have been blackmailed on Facebook, Google Hangouts, Instragram, etc. If you need help with this, contact me now using our online form and I will make them go away. IMPORTANT: please note that my service is paid support due to the large volume of requests I receive and time required to mitigate each individual case (typically 1-3 days and up to 2 weeks, depending). Please don't forget to leave your phone number on the contact page. I've been dealing with various online scams now for over 7 years and know exactly what to do. You can review my credentials here and read more about my services here.

My response:

I have been helping clients now for 7 years dealing with online scams - and I can tell unequivocally that the online romance scammers are incredibly vicious and aggressive. This type of scam is also known as a sextortion scam, Google Hangouts blackmail, Facebook blackmail, or Instagram blackmail scam.

This crime is in fact taking place overseas and the scammer is most likely not even a woman, nor located in your city. Quite often the scams originate in Ivory Coast, Africa or in the Philippines by large criminal organizations. It is not a single person running this scam, but operated by an entire group of individuals that make their money 24/7 scamming people online. This is their full time job and they make millions of dollars every year doing it.

Local Police and Lawyers Won't Help

Unfortunately, if you call your local police, they aren't going to do anything. A lawyer won't help, either because the crime has taken place overseas and you don't know the location of the scammers. Simply put, these scammers are effectively able to operate with impunity and the scam is likely to never go away.

There are ways around it, and I'll describe that below.

Blackmailed on Google Hangouts? Here's What to Do

The best advice when dealing with these Google Hangout blackmail scammers is not to pay them in the first place. Unfortunately this won't make them go away and the threats will undoubtedly continue. If you've already agreed to pay some of the money - you're now on the hook and they'll expect you to pay more.

Here's the kicker -

The scammers will never stop asking for more money, no matter how much you pay. They will continue to make threats, even after you "negotiate" a lower rate, or even if you pay the amount in full.

Case in point: I had a client that was in contact with a Google Hangouts blackmail scammer last year (October, 2020); he was only 21 years old, lived on his own, and worked a job from 9 to 5. To date, he had no idea how much money he had paid the scammers - $300 here, $500 there, 700 here, etc. When he reached out to me for help, he was desperate for help and barely had enough money to buy groceries. When I went through all his records of payments and calculated the total, he had paid the scammers over $6,750 - and they were still asking for more!

Update 20210326: I'm getting a lot of emails from folks that have been blackmailed on Facebook, Google Hangouts, Instragram, etc. If you need help with this, contact me now using our online form and I will make them go away. IMPORTANT: please note that my service is paid support due to the large volume of requests I receive and time required to mitigate each individual case (typically 1-3 days and up to 2 weeks, depending). Please don't forget to leave your phone number on the contact page. I've been dealing with various online scams now for over 7 years and know exactly what to do. You can review my credentials here and read more about my services here.

So, here are your options:

  1. Don't pay the scammers. Keep in mind they will not go away easily and will continue making threats. If you already paid them, you are in serious hot water for reasons I mentioned above. In this case, you might want to try option #4 below.
     
  2. You can optionally close your social media accounts and vanish into thin air. This can be stressful and time consuming. Also, keep in mind that the scammers will have recorded the links to all your family and friends, even if your account is closed - which means they can still get in touch with your family and friends if they are also on Facebook or other social media platforms.
     
  3. You can ignore the scammers. This won't make them go away easily and will result in them coming back at you with 10 times stronger with more vicious threats.

    Case in point
    : one of my clients received 8 phone calls from 8 different phone numbers from 8 different locations within the United States - all within 10 minutes, all threatening to share his video after he decided to ignore them. These people are vicious!
     
  4. You can hire a professional like myself to mitigate your case. I will handle your case discretely and with seven (7) years of experience. I will: report the scammers so their accounts get blacklisted; analyze your case and provide you with the best possible outcomes; collect data and evidence and report it to the FBI; and tell you what to expect every step of the way in order to alleviate your stress.

    Most importantly:

    a. I can get your money back if you paid the scammers - even if you sent it by wire overseas.

    b. I can blacklist your intimate images and videos if they are uploaded to social media platforms, and even search engines. This means that even if the scammers try to upload your video or images, it won't go through. Note that this option can be time intensive to mitigate, depending on the circumstances.

    c. I can provide you with various mitigation scenarios depending on the threats being made. My approach in dealing with this scam will provide you with significantly less stress until the entire case has been completed. This means that even if the scammers are threatening to share your image and video with your wife (for example), I know a way around this.

Additional Resources

Here are some related articles from Google Hangouts and Facebook:

Feeling Overwhelmed? Not Sure What to Do? Need Help?

If you are being blackmailed online through Google Hangouts, Instagram, Pinterest, SMS Texts, or Facebook, contact me now using our online form and don't forget to leave your phone number. I will call you back as soon as possible. Note that I receive a lot of requests for help; as such I will need to be paid for my time as it will take anywhere from 1-3 days to 2 weeks to mitigate your case.

I have a very high success rate in making the scammers go away as I have been dealing with this scam and similar scams like it for over 7 years. Because of the nature of the topic, I promise to be professional and discrete. If a phone call isn't possible, I can help by email but this method of communication may take longer to process.

And don't forget: if you've already paid the scammers, there is an EXCELLENT chance I can get your money back - even if you wired it overseas.

Contact me now to book an appointment; don't forget to include your phone number.

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About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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