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Michael’s story

Michael was in his 40s when he first tried online dating.

He was amazed at how many interesting women he could meet online.

He started messaging with a woman he liked. She said her name was Susie — she was beautiful and it all seemed fun and flirtatious.

Susie pretty quickly suggested they switch to Skype so they could continue chatting without the restrictions of the dating site. It seemed reasonable so he sent her his Skype name.

They started messaging on Skype. Susie wanted to know which country he was from and also asked him to send a picture, so he sent one.

Susie then replied with a picture of herself in her underwear. Michael was surprised but happy to see it. Then she asked if he wanted to play.

Michael was new to online dating and asked what she meant. Susie said she wanted to video-call him and get nude. She wanted him to do the same.

She called him and they each started stripping off. After a few minutes they were both naked. But then the call abruptly ended.

Michael messaged her to see if everything was okay.

Susie sent back a video recording of Michael nude during the call.

He could see his face as well as everything else. She also included a screenshot of his Facebook profile and contacts list.

She demanded he send her $400 by money transfer or she would send the video to all his Facebook friends. She said she’d delete it if he paid up.

Michael was panicking. He was scared of friends and family finding out what he’d been doing with a woman he didn’t know at all.

Susie sent him a name and address of somewhere in Asia. She also sent her preferred currency for the money transfer and told him to enter the ‘cash pick-up option’.

Michael didn’t know what else to do. He transferred the money.

Sometime later, Susie messaged to say she’d received it. She then asked him to send another $300.

Michael couldn’t believe it. He’d done everything she wanted and now she was demanding more.

Michael felt trapped and ashamed and didn’t know who to turn to for help.

He called a trusted friend and explained what had happened. The friend had heard about sexual extortion and encouraged him to contact eSafety.

What Michael wants others to know

Sexual extortion (or 'sextortion') is a form of blackmail where someone threatens to share a nude or sexual image or video of you unless you give in to their demands. These demands are usually for money or more intimate content.

Michael was a victim of sexual extortion.

Michael says that although online dating is fun, he's now a lot more careful about it. He believes he moved too quickly and shared too much with someone he really didn’t know at all.

If it happens to you, don't pay the blackmailer or give them more money or intimate content. Stop all contact with them. It's not your fault and there's help available.

Reach out for support and follow the steps for reporting sexual extortion.

*Michael’s story combines the experiences and emotions of a number of individuals in this situation. Stock photo. Posed by model.

Get support

Sexual extortion can be very stressful and upsetting. Even when it’s over you may need more support. 

Last updated: 14/03/2024