What to Do If Someone Is Blackmailing You for Watching Porn

Blackmail scams are becoming a norm for cybercriminals. Depending on how long you’ve had your current email address, you may receive multiple scam emails like these every day. In most cases, these emails are blocked by your email provider’s spam filter. However, targeted blackmail scams are different and might be personalized, including your real name and other personal information in the email or message itself.

You might see an email that suggests a particular cybercriminal group has hacked your computer. These emails tend to claim that they have recorded you through your webcam while using pornographic sites. Considering how widespread the use of pornography has become online, it’s not hard for them to find victims who may believe this story.

So, how can you tell if a blackmailer is legit or just trying to trick you into sending them money? Below are the steps you need to take to protect yourself from illicit blackmail.

You should consider signing up for our course “How to handle and stop blackmail” here.

How To Spot Fake Blackmail Attempts

When you first get one of these ‘blackmail’ messages, panicking can be easy. Several signs you should look for may indicate whether or not you have anything to worry about.

Does the email include any specific details?

If the email is boilerplate and contains none of your personal information, then the chances are that the blackmailer has nothing on you. Your name would be one of the easiest to determine if a hacker breached your computer. They’re probably lying if they’re not referring to you by name or giving you your approximate location.

Do they provide any proof?

If someone has compromising footage of you, then at the very least, screenshots should be included in the email. If there are no screenshots or video, that’s another sign that they’re just trying to make a quick buck.

Has anyone else gotten this email before?

There’s a real chance that this email you’ve received has been sent to many recipients simultaneously. If that’s the case, proving it’s fake is as simple as copying a section of the text into Google. If it comes back with a bunch of results from people who’ve got emails with almost the same wording, then you’re probably safe.

What to Do If You’re Being Blackmailed

You must take immediate action if you’ve concluded that a blackmailer is a real threat. Do not respond to the email. The first thing you need to do is copy the sender’s email address. A quick Google search should always be your first port of call so that you can attempt to gather information on your potential blackmailer.

Once you’ve gathered information about your blackmailer, you should contact local authorities to file a police report. Depending on where you live, you may have a specific law enforcement branch that deals with online cases. When filing your report, make sure to include as much information as you can, including your blackmailer’s email address, your email address, and any other details you may have been able to find.

Important note from Jonas Borchgrevink, Director of Hacked.com:

Blackmailers and cybercriminals in general are after a quick profit. In most cases, they are not after hurting your reputation. If they understand that they won’t be getting any money from you no matter what they do, they will move on to their next victims. It is so important that you do not send cybercriminals any money, and that you do not communicate with them. If you have any concerns, feel free to schedule a call with us at Hacked.com

How to Avoid Blackmail Scams

Prevention is the best defense against these sorts of scams. If you’re viewing pornographic sites online, ensure they are trustworthy sites with a good reputation. Never click on suspicious links promising free services that seem too good to be true. If you can, use a VPN service to protect yourself, and always keep webcams covered or disconnected when not in use.

If you’ve found yourself the victim of online blackmail scams, you can get help here.

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Featured image by Stenko Vlad from Shutterstock.com.