How Long Does Sextortion Last?

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'll find the answers to the following questions:

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Infopackets Reader Gina H. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

About six months ago I met a man on Instagram claiming to be a bitcoin investor. He had an impressive online resume, and his Instagram profile had many followers with plenty of posts about investing, etc. I was convinced he was real and so I took the plunge and invested a few thousand, resulting in a hefty profit in no time flat. I put all funds back into my account - however, the man said 'to really make it worthwhile' I needed to invest substantially more.

After much deliberation, I invested a grand total of $50,000.

We talked about what life would be like if the numbers turned in my favor. I was giddy just thinking about it, and this is where I let my guard down. Eventually the relationship turned sexual, and we started sexting back and forth. We exchanged photos and videos in the buff. I should mention that I'm a married woman and have two teenage children, and have never done anything like this before.

Flash forward to February of this year and I asked the man about my bitcoin investments, but he kept dodging my questions. I became suspicious and called him out on it. He claimed to owe his boss (an 'investment mogul') $400,000 and he didn't have the money to pay. He was very distraught.

Here's where things don't make any sense at all: as collateral for not paying what he owed, the man shared my intimate pictures and videos to his boss. Now his boss says that if I don't continue paying, he's threatening to post my pictures online, and send videos to my husband.

I've already lost a substantial amount of money, but my main question is: how long does sextortion last?

I don't know what to do and desperately need your help! "

My response:

This version of sextortion is called "the crypto romance scam", or "bitcoin investment romance scam".

This is actually two scams in one: a bitcoin investment scam, plus sextortion (blackmail) mixed in for good measure to ensure you keep on paying.

Related:

What is Sextortion?

Sextortion is a portmanteau of two words: sex and extortion. Extortion is another word for blackmail.

When it comes to sextortion, women are generally much smarter than men because they are reluctant to reveal themselves straight away to a stranger they just met online. The major difference between the male and female version of this scam is how long it takes to get to the punch line - in this case, it's blackmail.

The female version of the sextortion scam typically evolves over and extended period of time (weeks or months), with the woman furnishing the scammer hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the process.

On the other hand, men typically dive head first into the idea of having a romantic encounter with a complete stranger and are thus likely to fall for this scam in significantly less time (hours or days).

The end result is the same: the relationship eventually turns sexual and now the scammers own your compromising picture or video - and in some cases, the scammers will fake what they have on you with modified image using someone else's body parts.

If you don't pay them, they will threaten to expose you. Some threats are real, and some aren't. You won't know until it actually happens.

How Long Does Sextortion Last?

Having successfully completed over 750+ sextortion cases, I can say with a very high degree of accuracy that sextortionists typically stick around for up to 60 days before they move onto their next victim. This number isn't set in stone, but it's fairly typical for this type of scam.

If you haven't heard back from the scammers in 60 days, it's safe to say that they've moved on to their next victim.

In some scammers might come back six months or a year later - but this largely depends on your circumstances, including: how much you've already paid, what information they have on you (and your family members), and how much you have to lose.

Because I've worked on other cyber scams since 2014 (including the Microsoft tech support scam), I also know that scammers will sell your information to other crime syndicates. In the legitimate business world, selling client information to other firms is common practice. As such, it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that sextortion scammers would do the same.

Of course, this question on its own isn't enough to provide the full picture. Keep reading to find out more.

Do Sextortionists Follow Through?

I've answered this question already in-depth with another article that I wrote, entitled "Do Blackmailers Follow Through? (And What to Expect)".

Keep in mind that:

  • Sextortion is an organized crime (almost always).
     
  • The sextortionists are anonymous.
     
  • The scammers work in groups (almost always).
     
  • The scammers are usually overseas.
     
  • The scammers will do anything to get your money.

Simply put:

1. If you already paid the scammers, you are officially on the hook to keep on paying. It doesn't matter how much you've paid or what excuse you give them: they will never stop asking for more. If you don't pay, they will threaten to expose you.

2. Your name will be shared amongst other scammers within the group. Some days you may be speaking to more than one scammer at the same time.

3. You have a 50 percent chance of being exposed as each day passes - but keep in mind you may be speaking to a new scammer each day. Even if you didn't get exposed on days 1 and 2, it doesn't mean that on day 3 and 4, or two weeks from now the result will be the same.

Should I Ignore Sextortion?

Sextortion typically does not go away on its own.

In a previous article I've written on this subject entitled "Sextortion - What to Do (and What Not to Do)", I recommend that you do not block or ignore the scammers. Instead, my recommendation is that you delay them for as long as possible until you have time to think about your options.

Here's why -

If the scammers can't get a hold of you, they may start reaching out to family and friends with your pictures and videos straight away. Most clients I speak to say they want to avoid being exposed, so it's in your best interest to stay in communication with the scammers and try to delay paying them. Remember: if you pay them anything, they will simply turn around and ask for more. You will not be any better off than if you did not pay them.

You'll know the threats are real because they've most likely already showed you pictures of people that you know (or provided a list) through social media. If you ignore the sextortionists, they may start reaching out to family and friends to prove their point. And, while some scammers may only threaten to expose you, some scammers will most certainly follow through with those threats. You won't know if the threats are real until it's too late.

Therefore, your options are:

1. Be proactive; this is easier said than done. You will need a solid plan including contingency options in case the scammers throw you a curve ball, or if you are exposed. In the latter case you will need a way to explain this to people without shaming yourself in the process - especially if you just signed up for Ashley Madison - a hookup website for cheating spouses.

Keep in mind that professional services cost money - but be careful where you get the help. Many websites offering sextortion mitigation are fake and offer intangible protection that can't be proven, including having the overseas scammers arrested.

On the other hand, the plan I'm offering is hands-on, 100% transparent, and can be deployed immediately without having to pay a premium price to start sooner rather than later. Turn-around time with my plan is completed in as little as 3 days. No other service on the Internet is as fast or true. Interested? Contact me now.

2. Optionally, you can roll the dice and see what happens. Depending on what you have to lose, the threats of sextortion may not affect you at all, or it may be completely devastating resulting in divorce or the loss of your job.

How Do You Fight Sextortion?

To properly fight sextortion, you will need to think quickly and have answers to multiple scenarios. Scammers are usually very aggressive and do not leave you with any time to react. In this case, they will demand payment immediately or will threaten to expose you. (If you purchase my plan, I have examples scenarios and excuses already made up and ready to go, plus multiple ways to combat these threats. Contact me here).

Here are typical examples of how the scammers can trap you unexpectedly:

1. If you told the scammers you had a heart attack and can't pay, they will undoubtedly ask for pictures as proof that you've been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). If you can't provide evidence, they will threaten to expose you.

2. If you told the scammers that you're on the way to the bank and it's taking too long, they will undoubtedly request a video call to prove you're on the way. If you don't answer the phone, they may expose you on the spot.

Want to end sextortion now? Contact me now and put this nightmare behind you in as little as 3 days.

How to Report Sextortion?

If you're looking to an alternative way to deal with extortion by reporting it to the authorities, you most certainly can - but it won't gain much traction.

Here's why:

1. If you've never met the scammer in the same physical room together, chances are you're dealing with an overseas criminal. While you are free to report your case to the police, they won't be able to do anything because you don't even know who it is that is committing the crime.

At bare minimum, reporting your sextortion case to the police is a good idea if you want to prove to your workplace that you are taking things serious in case you are exposed at work.

2. You can file a report with the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) using the IC3 crime reporting center, but the FBI won't call you on the phone or look into your case because there are thousands of people filing reports on a daily basis.

The only purpose of the IC3 website is to collect your information. At the end of the year, the FBI will produce their annual report on Internet crimes so that the public can be aware of which crimes are on the rise. You can see what I'm saying if you review the IC3 2021 report here.

3. You can also report the sextortion scammer's profile on social media in hopes of getting their account banned. This will have zero effect on your problem because the scammers own multiple fake accounts on all social media and will simply come after you using another account (or go after your family and friends).

Also, shutting down your own social media account won't help because the scammers have already downloaded an offline copy and will use it as leverage against you. I've mentioned this and other ideas in depth in my article "Sextortion - What to Do (and What Not to Do)".

Here are some additional resources:

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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