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How to Tell If Sextortion Email Is Real?

How to Tell If Sextortion Email Is Real?

Sextortion email scams have become more prevalent in recent years. This type of extortion leverages the fear and embarrassment of the recipient, making it a lucrative enterprise for online criminals. It is crucial to be able to identify fake emails so that you can avoid paying exorbitant fees or accidentally giving away sensitive information. In this post, we will show you how to tell if a sextortion email is real and what to do if you receive one.

Identifying Red Flags: Signs of a Potentially Fake Sextortion Email

If you have ever received a sextortion email, you know how chilling and unsettling it can be. The message typically contains a threat to release compromising images or videos of you if a sum of money is not paid. Sometimes these emails can even contain personal information, making them feel extremely real. But how can you tell if the email is legitimate or fake? Below we have listed some key red flags to watch out for.

  1. One of the first things to look for is that the email address does not seem right or match the source of the email. Take the time to scrutinize the sender’s email address. If it does not come from a trusted or reputable source – such as a government institution or large, well-established company – this may indicate that it is a fake message.
  2. Additionally, it is not uncommon for these emails to contain spelling or grammar errors. This can indicate that the person behind the email is not a native English speaker or that they are using translation software to create the message. Furthermore, the language and phrasing used in the email may seem strange or not quite right. This can also be a sign that the message is not legitimate.
  3. Finally, it is worth noting that many sextortion emails will use scare tactics to try and encourage you to act quickly on their demands. This sense of urgency, combined with the threat of compromising images or videos being released, can be overwhelming.

Try and remember that these kinds of emails are typically sent to thousands of victims; their aim is to manipulate your fundamental psychology, prompting you to pay up. Before responding to a potential scammer and putting your information at greater risk, always be alert for these red flags.

How to Tell If Sextortion Email Is Real?

So, how do you tell if a sextortion email is real? Start by remaining calm and assessing the email. Look for signs of legitimacy, such as personal information only you or someone you know can access. If the email contains personal info like passwords or usernames, you make want to check if your email account has been breached by using sites like Have I Been Pwned. If a breach does come up, it can be beneficial to change any emails and passwords that have been affected.

Also, it is imperative to remember not to click on any downloads or attachments from unknown senders. These can contain harmful viruses and malware that can damage your hard drives and devices. Keeping a watchful eye and understanding how to identify the warning signs of sextortion emails can protect you and your personal information from being exploited by cybercriminals.

Reporting Suspicious Emails

If you have determined that an email is a scam, report it! You can forward the email to organizations like the Federal Trade Commission or the Internet Crime Complaint Center. This helps law enforcement track down scammers and prevent them from victimizing others. You can also report phishing and spam emails to your email provider, which could help stop these messages from reaching others.

Be sure to check with your email provider for instructions on how to report sextortion emails.


By knowing how to tell if sextortion email is real and reporting them, you can help stop online scammers from getting away with their criminal activities. Remember always to be vigilant regarding your online presence and take steps to protect yourself from internet sextortion. If you receive a suspicious email, do not give in to the demands; instead, act and report it.

Contact our Sextortion Helpline for immediate support and guidance in dealing with sextortion situations. Our experts are here to help you.

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