Blackmail Most Foul

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Derecho Investigations completed a recent extortion case where a young professional called our office and informed us that he worked for a large Charlotte company and was very worried. He was being blackmailed and had spent $30,000 to meet the blackmailer’s demands. The young man had entered a dating site and spoke with a young woman. They shared photos and then she shared a racier photo and asked him for the same, which he then provided.

Our client was contacted within a day from the dating site girl’s “father” who told our client that their daughter was under 18 and threatened to report him to the police and hung up. The “father” later called and said the police detective would be calling, which then happened. The “detective” told the client that the parents were thinking about pressing charges and that this needed to be settled. Our client contacted the father and offered to pay to clear this up.

The demands from the extortion ring kept coming. The blackmail always took the form of a Walmart Money Gram or a Vanilla brand Visa Credit Card (loadable credit cards). The blackmailers always had a reason to extort more… Excuses for illicit payment materialized, like a broken computer when the “daughter” was caught talking to the client (which continued), and medical bills for therapy for the daughter due to her exploitation by the client.

Derecho Investigations InDepth™ Service

Preliminarily, Derecho Investigations contacted police the department of the officer involved and verified that he did work there. We then spoke with the detective’s supervisor that was allegedly “investigating” this case. The Lieutenant we spoke with chuckled and forwarded me to the detective. The detective was very upset! It turns out that his name had been used on four other blackmail attempts. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence as his name and position were easy to verify, but none of the extortion victims ever called to verify that he was in fact investigating them.

We immediately told the client to stall further payments demands. Derecho Investigations reached out to the FBI, but that would take time. So, we then contacted a friend at the US Secret Service Office and briefed him on the blackmail. The agent requested details. We understand it is impossible to backtrack the Vanilla brand Visa cards and that Walmart is difficult to work with in such cases. We decided to try to get the blackmail team to accept a wire transfer.

We briefed the client on what to say and how to handle the traceable transaction. We were able to track the location of the bank receiving the funds. I shared that with the local police department, and the detective whose name was being used.

Through the coordinated efforts we were able to determine that this blackmail team was based out of a South Carolina prison! At this point the FBI became involved with Naval Criminal Investigation Service because several US Navy sailors had also been scammed.

Several South Carolina, Georgia, and Kansas jail officials were arrested, and the client was free from the blackmail scheme. Derecho Investigations was instrumental in getting the client entered as the primary victim on the restitution list for future reimbursement from any recovered funds.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS from Derecho Investigations

  1. It is important to note that by entering an “18 years or older only” site, you are not responsible for the age of the other party. Each person is individually responsible to verify their age.
  2. Remember, never, ever give accurate information when filling out a profile – create a fake social media account (what we call a sock puppet).
  3. Lastly, had the victim conducted a simple verification all of this could have been avoided. And he would have shown that the police officer was also being used as part of the scam much sooner.

Derecho Investigations wants you to know, you can call us confidentially, and we can help you too! Blackmailers and con-artists thrive on the concept that no one will want to reveal they are being scammed. By having your own private investigator, we can divulge the truth, track the perpetrators, and bring the parties to justice while protecting our clients’ interests.

If you are the victim of a blackmail scheme CALL Derecho Investigations: (833) 377-4871
to schedule a private consultation. All inquiries are confidential.

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