You’ve been waiting for this day – that match on Tinder has finally responded to you, and you’re nervous and excited and elated all at once. They suggest moving the conversation to Snapchat, they’re not on Tinder very often after all. You reach out and kick off the conversation – and being that you matched on Tinder, you’re all too eager to show them ‘the good’. After sending a few intimate images over to them, though, your fun comes to an end; now you’re scrambling to find help, as your new potential partner is holding your pictures for blackmail, and the clock is ticking. Who do you turn to? Who can help? Certainly, it must be the police – but how much can they do? Can police help with online blackmail? This is the question we’ll answer in this article.
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Filing a Report Can Help
There are several different potential outcomes. If you find yourself to be a blackmail victim, approaching your local law enforcement agency is not a bad plan. If you report sextortion or report blackmail online quickly and early on in your situation. Some blackmailers’ and sextortionists’ strategies revolve around defamation of individuals and the doctoring of the media they have sent them – they may threaten to create a webpage that suggests that the content you’ve sent them, originally in good faith, was meant for eyes unwelcoming or worse, for a minor.
Therefore, filing a police report early into an online blackmail or sextortion situation can be highly beneficial – you now have a record, on file, that you are indeed the victim of a crime, rather than a harasser or a predator. Keep detailed documentation of your situation and all communications with the suspect. It will help you provide a report. If for any reason this is the threat your perpetrator is proposing, you now have proof-positive that you are not at fault.
While having a police report filed is a good strategy for defense in an online blackmail situation, when it comes to going on the offensive you may be less likely to see direct assistance for a blackmail report.
The unfortunate fact is that most local police precincts and municipalities have little training or equipment to properly track or engage with suspects in blackmail reports. Additionally, with many online blackmail suspects originating in countries outside the United States. Typically Nigeria, The Philippines, The Ivory Coast, and Morocco. Learn more about 3 Real Sextortion Cases in the Philippines. There is no proper jurisdiction for local police officers to be able to operate within. Only if there is incontrovertible proof that the suspect is within the country can police help with online blackmail in this way.
Another potential option to report sextortion or report blackmail online would be to contact the FBI – conveniently, the FBI has had for some time a portal to their Internet Crimes Complaint Center (IC3) available to the public on their website. Individuals are able to submit online complaints and details about the situations they may be experiencing. However, we caution that this does not always see an actionable response either – the FBI is an enormous agency, with a large caseload, across the country.
The likelihood of seeing an immediate response to an individual’s case as a private citizen is small, at best, and should assistance be rendered for your report it will likely come after the situation has ended.
Other Resources and Tips for Reporting Online Blackmail
Whether police can help with online blackmail effectively or not, there are other potential actions you can take to help yourself in the short and long-term of your situation if you’re being blackmailed online.
Here are a few good housekeeping tips that can help you:
- Document all your Communications – especially with people you don’t know online.
- Update your Privacy Settings for All Your Accounts – Making yourself as invisible as possible online is always a good idea.
- Do Not Pay Blackmail. Do not ever pay the blackmailer. They’ll just keep coming back for more.
- Tell Someone About It. Whether you go to the police or not, talk with someone you trust about the situation. Two heads are always better than one!
- Seek Out Specialized Help. While police may not be able to help with online blackmail or sextortion, there are those who can!
To elaborate on our final point of advice here, there are now a multitude of private investigators, companies, and expert specialists in the private sector.
How to deal with online blackmail
If you’ve already filed a blackmail report with your local police and the FBI, and haven’t heard back about a plan, it may be time to investigate these kinds of services. We recommend doing your research – as we said, there are many options.
We would be remiss if we didn’t count ourselves amongst them, too.
Our company has direct experience with assisting clients in reclaiming their lives and their peace.
We know how to deal with online blackmail. Speak with our representatives today.