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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: US Law
Satisfied Customers: 53542
Experience:  Over 20 years of high volume criminal defense work,including all aspects of a case from arraignment to plea or trial.
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Somebody has a private video of me and is threatening to

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Somebody has a private video of me and is threatening to send to everyone I know unless I send them £200
JA: The Fraud Examiner will know what to do. Please tell me everything you can so the Fraud Examiner can help you best.
Customer: I was messaged on Instagram and they was asking me if I wanted to see a video of them, being curious I followed and they recorded a video of me nude
JA: Is there anything else the Fraud Analyst should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I did send some money and managed to get the scammer to wait till next Thursday for the rest
Hi, 

I’m Zoey, and I am an experienced attorney. I know your question is important to you and I will be giving it the time and attention it deserves.

In case you would like a faster response, the site will automatically offer you an optional phone call for an additional fee. No need to choose a phone call unless you'd like one. I’m happy to type or to talk.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I would prefer to type

No problem.  Have you reported this to the police?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
No

You need to cease all contact with this person and report her to the police and Actionfraud.  You're being blackmailed and once you start sending money, that doesn't solve the problem. It just creates more of them.   This is what's known as a sextortion fraud.

Sextortion stands for Sexual Extortion and extortion, of course, is blackmail. Typically the target of the scam has answered some back page ad or had been chatting with someone they met on the web. The conversation got explicit and they are coaxed into sending nude photos or videos. Then they get blackmailed with them. Pay money or they will publish the pictures or the video.

If you Google "sextortion scam" you'll get an idea of how popular this fraud is. You'll see tens of thousands of scam reports and warnings about this scam.   There's no good news answer to the problem.  There is only common sense:

DO NOT PAY HER ANOTHER CENT!

You should never give in to a blackmailer. They NEVER strike just once. Don't be foolish enough to think that this will stop if you pay them what they ask for. Within a day or so of that, they'll be asking you for more money and more money and more money and more money until you run out of it. And they still won't go away.

On the other hand, if you block them, ignore all of their contact and requests, call their bluff and send them nothing, there is nothing she is likely really going to do. Their only real power is in their threats. She gets absolutely nothing from exposing you.

Believe it or not, nothing she can do to you is worse than what you can do to yourself if you continue to pay her. You can live down embarrassment in the worst possible scenario. But you can't live a life giving all of your money to blackmailers. The people you hope to protect would have to learn about this ultimately anyway as you become increasingly more desperate for money, but you'll be in much worse shape then.

As many times as we get stories like this one, we have almost never seen the blackmailer follow through with the exposure she threatens. That's because she gets NOTHING she wants out of exposing anyone. All she really wants is money. If you don't pay, the odds are very high that she'll just move on to try to blackmail someone else.

She cannot post your photos on any social media site. None of them allow explicit photos or videos. They would take it right down. It's a violation of the site's terms of service. They can try to use Messenger to get to your Facebook friends, or send private messages via Instagram but you can get ahead of that by making your friends private and then contacting your friends and telling them not to accept friend requests from any strangers. Your friends cannot read her messages if they don't accept her as a friend first. If you warn them not to friend anybody, they won't be able to see the screenshot. You don't have to tell them the truth.  Just tell them that you've been approached by a hacker looking to infect your machine and that they should not respond to messages from strangers or click on strange links or open attachments from people they don't know.

If she has your work email address, you can talk to your company's IT specialist and they can be on the lookout for a mass mailing with a suspicious attachment. He or she can keep the message from getting through.

So again:  do not pay her. Block her. Don't read or believe her threats. She's only trying to intimidate you so that she can steal your money. The odds are 99.9% that if you ignore her, she'll do absolutely nothing. If, on the other hand, you pay her and then keep paying her, the odds are 100% that she will keep threatening and asking for more money for the rest of your life until you stop. Then every day you will still be as scared as you are now, but you'll also have no money left.

You can ask as many different experts this question as you like. NOBODY, not even your law enforcement authorities will tell you to pay a blackmailer like this. You have only one choice and that's to block and report her.

Chatting and exchanging sexual videos with another adult is not illegal. You did nothing wrong and cannot get in trouble for this. Your scammer, on the other hand, is committing a crime by blackmailing you. Block her. Don't enable her further by listening to her threats or trying to reason with her. Cease all contact with her immediately. Report him to the police, and to ActionFraud.police.uk

Do you need me to clarify anything or to give you more information?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I think I may have done something wrong as I’m only 16

Yes.  You shouldn't be exchanging photos.  But the other person is an adult and photos of you that he has are child porn.   That means it's not illegal for you to have his photos.  But it's illegal for him to have yours.

It doesn't change the fact that he's a blackmailer and that you shouldn't pay him.

Does he know how old you are?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Yeah we were just having a normal conversation before anything happened

It would not be a good idea for you to report this because you shouldn't have been doing this either.   But you still shouldn't pay him anything more.   Just warn all of your instagram friends and then block him.  If he gets through the block, don't believe his threats.   In most cases, he will go away, but if you warn off your friends, even if he tries to show them the video nobody will get to see it.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I shouldn’t report them through the link u sent and instead inform my friend on the scammer and tell them not to add any strangers?

Yes.  You don't want to let the police know you were involved in anything illegal, even though what he has done was worse than what you did.   But if he knows who your Instagram friends are, warn them not to open any messages from strangers or open strange attachments or links.   Tell them there's a hacker who's been threatening you  with that and people you know,     That should hopefully keep your friends from watching the video without your having to tell them what's in the video.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Ok they seem very desperate for the money though as she claims it’s for her sick mother and has shown pictures or her. Is this probably just a guilt trap or something I should be worried about ?

You're the one who will be desperate for money if you believe her nonsense.   Block her.  She's a blackmailer and a scammer.  In fact, she's probably not even a female but a team of scammers hiding behind someone else's photos.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Ok I will block her on everything they have contact on with me now

And if she breaks through the block, don't reply to her.   Do not believe anything she tells you.   She just wants to get your money.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Ok I will try not too
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you for your help

You're very welcome!

If there is anything more I can help with for this issue, you can always find me again on this chat thread. If you have new questions about other topics, just start that new question with "For Zoey Only" and type @Zoey_JD. You’ll be able to select my username to tag me in the question.

Zoey, JD and 2 other US Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I think they may have my phone number as they had messaged me on another account with more threats
Customer: replied 11 days ago.

Ignore the threats no matter where they appear.   Paying a blackmailer is not an option.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
They have made a group chat with some people I know it and because I blocked them they have sent the images in the chat
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I have tried to report them on Instagram but I don’t think there’s much more I can do

Like I've said, hopefully, these people will not open the images.   Otherwise, you will be very embarrassed.  All the same, paying them is not an option.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Ok they have stopped trying to make contact with me so that’s good it just depends if there threats are not bluffs

You'll have to wait and see for that, unfortunately.

Go get some sleep.  It's very late out there and there's nothing more you can do.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Ok I will try and again thank you so much for helping me out

You're very welcome!