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How Can Sextortion Ruin Your Life?

How Can Sextortion Ruin Your Life?

You’ve probably heard about Sextortion. And if you haven’t, be sure to check out our previous article talking about what sextortion is .  Sextortion – the online cyber-crime of our age. Its reach is sweeping the globe. Any kind of online scam can be harrying, 

Sextortion in particular can be exceptionally mentally anguishing. The largest question we receive is regarding what might happen – how can sextortion ruin your life? After all, we’re talking about distant criminals, who may or may not follow through with their demands.

However distant they may be and for however serious they are about posting your content. Sextortionists hold your reputation in their hands when being sextorted. Today we’ll discuss some situations – many of which we have seen in our own cases. How Your life may be affected if sextortion scams are not taken seriously.

Understanding Sextortion

 Rather than reiterating one of our previous articles, let’s first get the cliff’s notes version of what sextortion is.  Online sextortion, a class of online blackmail, starts with sextortionists reaching out to individuals on an online platform be it social media, dating apps, message boards, or even online games.

Typically, communication is established between the two parties quickly after the perpetrator adds or follows the soon-to-be victim.  The conversation moves across the stages of the scam at varying speeds.

First, the sextortionists will make small talk, and ask generally innocuous questions of the target. This conversation will typically see some discussion of non-vital topics to build rapport, as well as personal questions. 

That help sextortionists locate users on other platforms for potential spread later in the plot. The talk then turns more heavily towards romantic or sexual tones. Sextortionists will then drop the bait of ‘personal’ content of their own (usually fake or stolen pics and videos). They’ll ask for media from their target in return. 

Once received they’ll hold that media hostage with the threat of releasing that content.  Intimate images or video, to their friends, family, or colleagues should the target not pay them off.  

When the Bomb Goes Off – The Fallout of Sextortion Scams

   While many experts and organizations recommend ignoring sextortionists and online blackmail scams entirely, you may yet ask yourself “If I ignore it, can sextortion ruin my life, still?” Unfortunately, the answer is yes, it could. But each scammer is unique, as there are as many that do not go through with their threats as there are those that do follow through. Some, in fact, become more likely to post your content when ignored – it’s the human factor at work.

Where the variable in question is likely halfway across the world, holding your intimate images and videos in their hands. With that in mind, there are many different topics to consider on how, if that media were to get out, it could ruin your life when you are being sextorted.

The first and most obvious consideration to be made is the effect it will have on your immediate friends and family. Some may not care – understanding that you are a victim. Some, on the other hand, may become emotionally distant. 

You may even come into points of conflict with people you once loved and trusted. If their way of mind isn’t as open as some to the situation you were in. The emotional toll isn’t strictly on just a sextortion victim when it also affects the people they love. This goes doubly, of course, for anyone in a relationship already – spouses, partners, and significant others are typically high on sextortionists’ lists of release targets.

Possible Outcomes

This goes similarly for your colleagues. Another way that your life may be affected is regarding your career. Thanks to the interconnectedness of social media platforms, it’s highly likely that a scammer will already know your place of work – and if they don’t, it will likely be one of their earliest questions in your initial conversation.

While it’s not as frequent that the threat to send intimate images and other media to workplaces occurs, it does occur still. Worse still, rather than sending it directly to your boss.

Sextortionists may set up one-page websites that are indexable by popular search engines, using your name and information as key words. Your explicit material as the site’s primary content, potentially putting of future employers from hiring you.

These sites can also include additional claims that adjust the sextortion situation even further. It may make claims that could lead to even worse possibilities. This brings to our third possible outcome – criminal investigation.

A popular tactic among sextortionists who post these one-page websites is to levy a threat of doctoring the material to make it seem that your communications were far more taboo than they originally seemed. They may make claims ranging from untoward sexual harassment, to flat out framing you as a potential child predator by making it seem that you were initially and knowingly speaking to a minor.

If this should occur, and no prior reports to law enforcement regarding the situation have been made.  It’s possible for investigations to opened into you and your own life before it ever becomes clear that you, and not them, were the victim all along.

How to Stop Sextortion Before the Bomb Goes Off

The most of this information is partially anecdotal – while we’ve seen instances of each of these kinds of situations. A victim has called us far too late for us to assist them. Not every scammer will act in the same manner. Once again, there is a human element of ‘the unknown’ and unknowable variables with each situation. The best recourse, if you find yourself being sextorted or know someone who is a sextortion victim, is first and foremost to remain calm. 

 The next step, as soon as possible, is to file a police report with your local authorities.  (IC3). While you may not get direct responses from the FBI due to their volume, or immediate assistance from local law enforcement (as they cannot typically do anything to extra-national criminals) there are yet other groups out there in our world today actively fighting against these felonious fiends.

The biggest thing you can do for yourself in stopping sextortion on any platform is to seek professional assistance from such individuals and organizations.

How to deal with sextortion

We here at Digitalforensics corp. are one such option; we have a success rate of over 90%. When it comes to handling sextortion cases and putting a stop to sextortionists. Our team of experts and analysts strive for the discreet handling of your situation.  Our team is available 24/7 to hear your case.

If you should like to speak with us, whether you are being sextorted or someone you know is a sextortion victim. Feel free to reach out at 1-888-210-2373, or chat with one of our team members online.

In the meantime, we hope that we’ve sufficiently answered for the multitude of outcomes in regards to how sextortion can ruin your life – more articles like these, make sure to check out our main blog page as well! Now you know the answer to the question “can sextortion ruin your life?” Its time to decide what to do if you’re a victim


We offer immediate, 24/7 assistance from our team of investigators.


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