Sunday, January 13, 2013

Do scammers retaliate by exposing the intimate details of our conversations?

A member writes:  Do scammers retaliate by exposing the intimate details of our conversations?  My mistake was using my work e-mail which gives him too much information about me.  I am afraid this has become an obsession with me and i think about it every day. Any advice from you all?

Our response:  I've heard of scammers threatening to release intimate emails or videos captured via webcam, but I've not yet heard of one who actually did it.

What you are feeling is natural -- they planted this anxiety in you. They try to get us off of dating sites, and onto IM where we have those intimate conversations or web cam performances. They do this on purpose because they know it creates a bond, and the feeling of a most intimate relationship. Most of us experience some separation anxiety when that relationship goes away, either by our choice or the scammers. Fear of having your intimate thoughts and words exposed is scary for anyone. The scammers know this and bank on it, some times quite literally.

If he were to make an expose of your words, where would he publish it?  How could he do this in a way that would damage you professionally? Even pornography sites will immediately remove content if you show that the person who posted it does not have the rights to that picture or video, and since the scammer does not own the rights to your words, you would have the upper hand there. If he were smart enough to figure out the names of the principals or owners at your company, and email them, you could simply state your email address must have been stolen, and distance yourself. The key here is not to over-react. You are much more likely to receive a virus or a piece of malware than you are to have your words published in some way.

What I think you're afraid of is revenge -- and for a scammer to want to exact revenge, he would have to care. The truth is that they are predominantly sociopaths, and have no feelings for us at all. Not one.  This is just a job to them, and when one door closes, another one opens, sadly. They couldn't care less about losing one "mugu" because another one is right around the corner.

Welcome. You're among friends here.

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