Someone Recorded Me on Skype & is Blackmailing Me Featured Image

Someone Recorded Me on Skype & is Blackmailing Me

The situation is all too common: you meet a stranger on social media or a dating app, and the conversation moves to Skype. You chat further and eventually, the conversation escalates to a point where you perform sexual or intimate acts on camera, and before long you realize: “Someone recorded me on Skype and is blackmailing me.”

If a scammer recorded you on Skype and is now using that content as leverage to blackmail you, take the following actions immediately:

  • Document all evidence and communications with the blackmailer,
  • Lock down all your online accounts and profiles,
  • Report the blackmailer’s account for Terms of Service violations to Skype,
  • Report the blackmailer to law enforcement and other cybercrime agencies,
  • Monitor your search results and social mentions, and
  • Contact an experienced blackmail and sextortion attorney.

At Minc Law, we have extensive experience helping online blackmail victims fight back against malicious scammers. Being targeted by a sextortionist can be isolating and overwhelming, so it is best to have an experienced internet attorney on your team. We help take over communication with the perpetrator, provide actionable and objective advice on the best response strategy, monitor for future attacks, and remove intimate and embarrassing content (if posted).

In this article, we provide information on Skype blackmail and how to avoid becoming targeted by a sextortionist. We then give actionable tips for what—and what NOT—to do if a Skype blackmailer begins threatening you.

What is Blackmail on Skype & How Does It Happen?

As the world becomes more digitally connected, internet blackmail and sexual extortion are unfortunately becoming more common.

Skype blackmail mainly occurs as “sexual blackmail,” or sextortion. Sextortion is the threat to reveal explicit information or content about you unless you meet the sextortionist’s demands—usually money or sexual favors.

How Skype Blackmail Scams Typically Work

Blackmail on Skype usually occurs after meeting you on a different platform or app (usually a social media or dating site). Skype is simply the medium where the sinister part of the perpetrator’s plan begins.

Since it is easy to video chat and record those interactions on Skype, the platform is ideal for sextortion scammers. These perpetrators often find their victims on social media or dating sites first, researching them to learn their interests—and gathering a list of friends and family to use as leverage.

At Minc Law, we commonly see Skype-related sextortion scammers start their scheme on a variety of platforms including Ashley Madison, a social networking site for extramarital affairs. The scammers usually match with their victims and start a conversation, quickly becoming flirtatious and overtly sexual. Then, they attempt to move the conversation to Skype.

Once You Are Interacting on Skype

From there, the scammer convinces you to send compromising images. They may play a video stolen from a pornography website to convince you that you are engaging in a reciprocal video sex experience. Or perhaps they claim their own webcam is broken, which is why they cannot show themselves.

Unbeknownst to you, however, the scammer records the entire interaction using a screen recording app. Once the scammer has enough material, they drop the friendly facade and show their true intentions. They threaten to send the recorded video to your friends and family unless you pay a ransom.

For more information on other online platforms and apps, please see our comprehensive resources explaining ‘What to Do If Someone is Blackmailing You on Google Chat’ and ‘What to Do If You Are Being Blackmailed on Instagram’.

Sexual Blackmail Schemes on the Rise in the U.S.

Sextortion scams like the one described above are increasing in the United States. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported 16,000 complaints of sextortion in the first half of 2021 alone. The most common victims are young adults and teenagers; law enforcement received more than 7,000 reports of online sextortion of minors in 2022.

The continuously increasing popularity of online communication contributes to the growing threat of sextortion. It is also more common to make personal information available online, which makes it easier than ever for scammers to target and manipulate victims.

What You Should Avoid Doing if You Are the Target of Skype Blackmail

If a sextortionist is threatening to release a recording of your Skype interaction with them, it is important to remain calm. Do not give the perpetrator more power over you or show that you can be manipulated.

In these instances, it may not be wise to follow your first instincts. Below, we cover three actions to avoid if a sextortionist is threatening you.

Avoid Engaging With the Perpetrator Further

While it can feel counterintuitive to ignore the scammer’s messages, avoid engaging with them any further. The sextortionist is counting on your fear and panic, hoping you will reply to them quickly and do anything they say in the hopes that they will not follow through on their threats.

But responding to the scammer just shows them you can be manipulated. It may encourage them to focus even more attention on you.

You may be unsure whether the scammer has any compromising videos of you at all—but do not give in to the temptation to ask for more information. Simply stop responding to or messaging the perpetrator.

Do Not Try to “Get Ahead of the Story”

If a sextortionist is threatening to share compromising Skype recordings with your friends and family, your gut instinct may be to publicize your version of events first.

But trying to get ahead of the story may do more harm than good—especially since most sextortionists never see their threats through. And with an experienced attorney on your side, you can likely resolve the situation quickly and privately.

There are some scenarios where it may be best to get ahead of the story so that you can control the narrative. For instance, you may want to take away the sextortionist’s power by communicating with individuals who may be impacted by the scam such as family members or friends who the sextortionist has referenced in their threats.

While we encourage you to find at least one person in whom you can confide, the decision to communicate about the situation with anyone else should be made carefully, not in the heat of the moment. It is a good idea to discuss your options and strategy with an attorney before making a decision.

Avoid Giving in to the Perpetrator’s Demands

Many sextortion victims are tempted to pay the ransom and hope the problem disappears. But unfortunately, paying a sextortionist (or meeting their other demands) usually produces the opposite effect.

Doing what the perpetrator says just shows them you are a prime target for manipulation. Nothing is stopping them from coming back and asking for more payment or additional favors. Giving in to the sextortionist’s demands only encourages them to continue harassing you.

Internet Defamation lawyer Checklist

Effective Steps to Take to Deal with Skype Blackmail

Now that you know what not to do, we recommend taking the following steps as soon as possible to deal effectively with a Skype blackmail attempt:

  • Document all evidence and communications with the blackmailer,
  • Lock down all your online accounts and profiles,
  • Report the blackmail for Terms of Service violations on the relevant platforms,
  • Monitor your search results and social mentions, and
  • Contact an experienced blackmail and sextortion attorney.

Document All Evidence & Communications With the Blackmailer

Deleting all embarrassing or compromising images of you may be your gut instinct—but avoid the temptation. Save as much evidence of the sextortion as you can so that if and when you report the crime to law enforcement, you can provide evidence of the crimes against you.

Along with evidence of the sextortion, take screenshots of the specific dates and times the perpetrator contacted you. You should also document the scammer’s online profile, email address, and any other evidence of their identity.

Lock Down All Online Accounts & Profiles

Next, secure your online privacy to prevent the scammer from finding more ammunition to use against you.

Block the perpetrator on every platform you can. Set all your social media accounts to private, and avoid engaging with or accepting friend requests from accounts you do not know.

If you are the target of public shaming or if the scammer is creating multiple accounts to harass you, you may need to delete your social media profile entirely until the situation can be resolved.

Report the Blackmail For Terms of Service Violations on Relevant Platforms

All major communication and social networking platforms allow users to report harassment and online attacks. This behavior is generally prohibited in these sites’ Terms of Service (ToS).

If the sextortion attempt began on another site like a social media app or dating platform, you can report the scammer to that website. You can usually find removal request forms, reporting procedures, and contact information under the platform’s Privacy Policy or Terms of Service.

You can also report the blackmail directly to Skype. We address Skype’s reporting process in detail in the next section.

Monitor Search Results & Social Mentions

The sextortionist may not stop at threatening you on one platform. If you are the victim of Skype blackmail, you should monitor your online reputation for continued attacks.

Google Alerts are a free and easy way to track your online search results. Simply set up an alert for your name and another keyword, and Google will send you an alert anytime the word or phrase appears in search results.

Contact an Experienced Blackmail & Sextortion Attorney

Webcam sextortion and online blackmail are highly nuanced areas of law, and every state’s laws vary.

If you are a victim of Skype blackmail, contact a sextortion attorney as soon as possible. The earlier an experienced professional can assist you, the more likely you can resolve your situation quickly and discreetly.

Experienced internet attorneys know how to fight online blackmail by communicating with the perpetrator on your behalf to help prevent the release of explicit content. They can also help remove any harmful online content (if posted) and work with law enforcement to hold the scammer accountable for their actions.

How Long Does Skype Blackmail Last?

The question of how long a Skype blackmail attempt can last depends on several factors, including:

  • Whether you give in to the scammer’s demands (if so, they may keep harassing you);
  • How much you cooperate with the scammer (if you refuse to engage with or obey them, they may move on to another victim); and
  • What type of content is being used for blackmail (such as if your personal or professional reputation is at stake).

Every case of Skype blackmail is different and can run on its own timeline. If you are a victim, it is important to act quickly to seek legal help and protect your rights and reputation.

For further reading, please see our comprehensive guides ‘How to Deal With Blackmail on the Internet’ and ‘What to Do If Someone is Blackmailing You With Nude Photos’.

How to Report Skype Blackmail

Even if reporting webcam blackmail does not put an end to the harassment directly, it can help lay the groundwork for protecting other potential victims and establishing a timeline of the criminal activity.

There are numerous agencies that you can report the blackmail to, including Skype itself. In this section, we provide actionable tips for reporting blackmail on Skype.

Report the Blackmailer’s Skype Account

First, block the perpetrator’s account to prevent them from calling or messaging you on the platform. You can also report the abuse for violating Skype’s Terms of Service.

To block and report the blackmailer, follow these steps:

  • Right-click or tap on the perpetrator’s account and select View Profile.
  • At the bottom of the profile window, click Block contact.
  • From this window, you can flip the toggle for Report abuse. Choose a reason for reporting them, then select Block.
  • To confirm your choice, click Block again.

Report the Blackmailer to Law Enforcement & Other Agencies

Beyond reporting the sextortion to Skype, you can also report the crime to various law enforcement and other agencies that handle internet crime. Keep in mind, however, that in some cases, you may not want to report the incident to law enforcement before speaking with an attorney.

For instance, if you know the perpetrator in real life or if there are questions concerning your own criminal liability, your situation may be more complicated. It is always best to speak with an attorney about your options before taking any other action.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a well-respected online portal for reporting online criminal activity. When you file a report with the IC3, the analysis team reviews the occurrence and forwards it to the correct local, state, or international law enforcement.

Your Local FBI Office

You can also report the sextortion to your local FBI field office. There are 56 field offices in major cities around the U.S. and Puerto Rico, where agents can work with local police to investigate crimes.

NCMEC

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is a tip line and nonprofit resource center for missing and exploited children. If the blackmail victim is a minor, you can report the crime through their tipline.

INTERPOL

The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) is the largest law enforcement agency in the world, with 194 member countries. If the perpetrator is overseas or your home country is a member of INTERPOL, you can report the incident by contacting your local or federal police agency. They will then collaborate with INTERPOL’s General Secretariat.

Local Authorities

If your situation does not warrant a federal or international report, you can report your case to your local police. Their cyber crimes unit may have the resources to assist you.

To find your closest police station, use a search engine to locate the contact information of the precinct office. For instance, Cleveland, Ohio residents can call (216) 621-1234 to report an online crime.

Minc Law Can Help You Handle Skype Blackmail

If you are a victim of webcam blackmail, you do not have to face it alone. In this section, we provide information on how an experienced internet attorney like the ones at Minc Law can help you fight back against sextortion and online harassment.

When Should I Reach Out For Help to Combat Skype Blackmail?

The quicker you retain legal help to respond to the sextortionist, the better. In most sextortion cases, it is best to call an experienced content removal attorney immediately. Minc Law offers after-hours consultations for emergency situations like yours, and many police agencies can also take your call 24-7.

How We Can Help You Deal With Skype Blackmail

Our legal team at Minc Law has helped hundreds of blackmail victims fight back against harassment. We understand how stressful and overwhelming it can be to be targeted by a sextortionist.

Our experienced attorneys can take over communication with the scammer, monitor the internet for further harassment, and give objective advice on the best response strategy. We can also work with law enforcement and report perpetrators to the relevant online platforms, as well as remove harmful content from the internet.

★★★★★
“Attorney Dorrian Horsey handled a very sensitive, embarrassing case for me and she did so with kindness, grace, and without judgement. She was fiercely dedicated the whole year it took and did not waiver. She has changed and, in fact, saved my life. Any client or firm should feel honored to have her on their team. Dorrian deserves, a promotion, a raise, a company car, three weeks paid vacation, and a corner window office when we return to offices. Words cannot fully express how thankful I am to Attorney Horsey. Thank you, Dorrian!”

L.S.

October 27, 2021

Not only can an experienced legal team help you fight back against online harassment, but we can also provide a listening ear and judgment-free support. Reach out to schedule your initial, no-obligation consultation by calling us at (216) 373-7706, filling out our online contact form, or speaking with a Chat representative.

Contact Minc Law

This page has been peer-reviewed, fact-checked, and edited by qualified attorneys to ensure substantive accuracy and coverage.

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