Sext-Extortion scam leaves lonely-hearted broke AND single

Woman sitting at desk, text messaging, close-up

I've always loved weird media stories, especially those on love and dating (which, you may probably be able to tell with some of the ones I share here from time to time). Because, for as much as I may talk about the highs and lows of dating, it's stories I come across that remind me that most of us, even at our worst, aren't quite as bad off as we think we are. Basically, keep a "glass half full" perspective.

And with that, let me be truthful here: I have, in my day, sent a sexy message or two to past flames, especially when I went through crazy spells not seeing my guy (of course this is pretty common in the single scene and chatting with dating prospects). Sending sexy messages to someone, especially someone you're intimate with and trust, is a great way to keep the fire burning -- and build up sexual tension for when you see that person later.

It's hard to think that something so fun can go so horribly wrong. Except what if, in your quest to find love and feel like you're connecting with someone intimately, you learn it's all a horrible scam -- just to get a little money out you?

Well, it seems like that is exactly what happened to a few lonely hearts recently...

According to the story on CBS News, it looks like a male-female duo, Kevin Zunk and Tonya Blaze, both from Toledo, would contact potential victims through a dating service, providing them with a phone number for texting. Once they were engaged in conversations, they up the ante, getting people to send them steamy messages, first explicit in nature and then nude photos. They would then move in for the kill by posing to be some type of law enforcement just to get people to pay them money in an effort to keep quiet.

While the scammers did make about $10,000 in their efforts, this was definitely a small time game, only charging a couple of grand each time around. Apparently, they got about seven people in several states before they were caught.

Now, let's point out the obvious that this was indeed a horrible scam. The fact that people are willing to exploit the lonely for the almighty dollar? Kind of stings, when you think about it all.

But it also goes to show that while fun and sexy at times, sexting -- especially when you don't have that level of comfort or trust -- has its risky side.

Then again, that's probably what makes it so fun... (Personally, knowing I'm going to come in contact with the real thing is the only thing that makes sexting really doable for me)

In any case, I'm sure these lonelies will steer clear from that kind of sexy phone action... At least for a little while!

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