Online Blackmail

According to United States law, blackmail is defined as the use of information to coerce someone to do something against their will or force someone to stop something they want to do. Legally, it is different from extortion, which involves using threats or leverage to demand payments, services, or properties from someone. Both are federal crimes under United States law.

Online blackmail
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Online blackmail involves the use of information over the internet to force people to do something against their will. In most cases of online blackmail, the blackmailer threatens the victim with releasing sensitive information, private photographs usually of a sexual nature, or other information. Usually, nude pictures or videos of such nature are the tools used to blackmail people online. At times, blackmailers will hack into the victim’s computer and make sensitive recordings that are unknown to the victims. Most times, they acquire sensitive information or pictures present on the victim’s device without their knowledge. In some cases, the blackmail could be a threat of releasing private business details or professional secrets.

There has been a rise in attempts to blackmail people using sensitive images taken after the blackmailers have made contact on social networking sites or dating sites. The blackmailer gets close to the victims while pretending to be someone else to build a friendly or romantic connection. After this, the scammer usually asks for sensitive photos or an erotic video chat, during which the victim may see images or videos of a real person. However, it is actually a stolen identity unknown to the victim. The blackmailer then uses sensitive images or footage as leverage to force the victim to do something. Most times, victims are often hesitant to report cases such as this out of fear of everything being exposed. However, rather than give in to the blackmailer’s threats, there are proper steps to take in case of blackmail. We’ll discuss the proper steps below.

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In the case of a blackmail attempt, document all correspondence the blackmailer has sent or will later send. It should be kept in a safe device especially if your main device has been compromised. Every email, chat, picture, or video that you’ve been sent should be collected and saved somewhere safe. One great way to document is taking photographs or making printouts.

After saving all the necessary details, do not use the device or account that has been compromised. You can change passwords or contact customer support to get help with protecting your account. A lot of people try to delete videos or sensitive material out of embarrassment, this puts more control in the blackmailer’s hands and makes it harder to prosecute the perpetrator in a court of law.

Oftentimes, victims get baited by demands and threats which they usually give in to out of the fear of being exposed. The more you give in to the blackmailer’s demands, the more the blackmail goes on. Usually, the demands for money or more information are followed by threats of sending private information or pictures to social media friends or family. The blackmailer may ask for small amounts of money at first in exchange for keeping your secrets. The moment you give in to their demands, it becomes a signal that you are ready to do whatever they want.

Instead of allowing the blackmailer’s threats to get to you, you can inform your contacts or family that your details have been compromised in case the perpetrator decides to release your information. You can make a search online or set up alerts to get notifications if anything involving your details pops up on the internet. If you give in to their demands, the blackmailer still has the leverage and you’ll have to live in constant fear of being exposed.

If the blackmailer Is local (Inside the United states) you should consider Involving the police. When a blackmailer tries to use your personal information or sensitive details to make you act against your will. Most times, blackmailers try to scare their victims from going to the police, threatening to release more information if the victim goes to the authorities.

Sometimes, they also claims that the authorities are unable to help them. If the blackmailer Is out of the United states, It’s probably the truth, unfortunately.

Online blackmail is illegal and the authorities will take this seriously. It is contained under the law of the United States which states “ Whoever, under a threat of informing, or as a consideration of not informing, against any violation of any law of the United States, demands or receives any money or other valuable thing, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year or both.”

If the blackmailer is domestic, and there is enough evidence, the police can set the perpetrator up and arrest them. But sadly, Most blackmailers are not under the jurisdiction of the American police since they ate located In PHILIPPINES, MOROCCO, UKRAINE, NIGERIA OR IVORY COAST.

There are companies that specialize with dealing in cybercrimes such as online blackmail and extortion.

They provide one-on-one assistance in solving a privacy violation crisis. Such companies are equipped with tools to remove any intimate material that may be published online by blackmailers. 

They are professionals with a team of cyber-intelligence investigators, private investigators, and search engine suppressors. With their help, you can gather enough evidence to prosecute the blackmailer as they have the tools to reveal the scammer’s real identity.

You can get a combination of cybersecurity and legal services when you contact these companies.

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