The Basics of Extortion Scams
An extortion scam involves a scammer making threats or demands in order to get your money. The threats can be anything from saying that they will harm you or your family, to saying that they will release embarrassing information or photos unless they are paid. Extortion scammers will often try to make their threats seem as real and credible as possible in order to scare you into paying them.
Common Tactics Used in an Extortion Scam
There are a few common tactics scammers use in an extortion scam, such as:
- Threatening to expose embarrassing or damaging information about you unless you pay a ransom. The scammer may claim to have compromising photos or videos, or sensitive information that could ruin your reputation. They will then demand a sum of money in exchange for not releasing this information.
- Threatening physical harm. The scammer may claim to know where you live or work, and threaten to hurt you or your loved ones unless you pay up.
- Pretending to be from a government agency. The scammer may claim that you owe money to the IRS or another government agency, and threaten legal action if you do not pay up. They may threaten that you will be arrested or jailed if you do not comply with the demands.
Common Types of Extortion Scams
- Fake Arrest Scams: The scammer pretends to be a police officer or government official and tells you that they have warrants for your arrest. You are then told to pay a fine or face arrest.
- Sextortion Scams: The scammer threatens to release inappropriate photos or videos of you unless you pay a ransom.
- Extortion Phishing: The scammer sends an email that includes some form of your personal information that they obtained in a data breach. They will threaten to expose it online unless you pay.