Online ‘sextortion’ scam targets those looking for love and ends in blackmail – WAVY

MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( –  An online dating scam is spreading across the country, and bilking victims out of tens of thousands of dollars.

The scam is sophisticated with many layers of deceit. It convinces victims they broke the law and they could be arrested unless they pay up. It’s becoming such a problem, that the scheme h as been given a name: sextortion.

In the swipe left, swipe right age of online dating, you may not be chatting with someone looking for love. The person on the other end may instead be looking to scam you out of cash.

“The scam is great. It combines two different things. sex and the fear of disclosure,” says Memphis Attorney Claiborne Ferguson.

Ferguson represents multiple “sextortion” victims. He knows how it works. Scam artists have targeted a dozen of his clients in the past year. It usually targets men on online dating sites. It starts with

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