Have you ever been the victim of extortion? You’re not alone. Extortion is a crime that’s growing in popularity, and it can be difficult to know what to do if you find yourself in this situation. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to report online extortion and protect yourself from further harm. We’ll also provide some tips for dealing with this situation if it happens to you. So, if you’re worried about being extorted online, read on! We have everything you need to know.
Table of Contents:
Steps to Report Online Extortion
1. Don’t give in to the demands of the extortionist
Victims need to keep calm when faced with extortion. If a victim were to act on emotion and fear and send their harasser money or whatever form of demand they want, it will only escalate the situation. The goal of an extortionist is to frighten their victim enough for them to do whatever they want. You give them an inch they are going to come back and ask for a mile. If these criminals know their plan is working and you have the funds to give up, they will never stop asking for more.
2. Keep a record of all communication
It is vital to keep all records of communication you have had with this criminal. The reason why is because when these criminals threaten to expose your content online, they are also going to try to paint you in a negative light to make the damage even worse. We have had numerous cases of sextortion where the victim has created social media accounts and websites making false and very serious allegations that could potentially ruin the lives and careers of victims.
Such allegations are rape, consuming child pornography, relations with a minor, and many more lies to try to defame their victims. This is why keeping a record of the conversation including the threats would play as a safety net and prove to law enforcement that you are the victim of this situation and all allegations are completely false.
3. Report extortion to our team as soon as possible
When dealing with sextortion we always recommend victims contact their local authorities and the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to report extortion. There you have access to cyber extortion reporting, among other forms of crimes. Although it is important to report the crime to the authorities there is a high chance that victims will not be assisted as fast as they might like or need. This is why we also recommend reaching out to blackmail specialists.
We here at Digital Investigation specialize in cases of sextortion among other forms of cybercrimes. We have been working on cases like these for years and have grown to become experts when it comes to knowing the tactics these cybercriminals use to carry out their schemes. We have tools and strategies of our own that have shown great success in locating these suspects and bringing them to provide proof of deletion of clients’ content and agreement to stop the harassment.
4. Report extortion to a group or platform administrator
Along with reporting extortion to the police and specialists, it’s important to report the crime on the platform it took place on. This will bring awareness of the crime to the platform and the user that is causing it. This helps keep sextortion offline and social media a tad bit safer.
The emotional distress extortion brings is an understatement. We recommend victims go seek out help groups that deal with and support victims of sextortion. This crime comes with many consequences one of them being emotional trauma. Online sextortion is not something to take lightly, some victims are never the same after dealing with a crime like this. Victims are more paranoid, less willing to trust anyone, and have PTSD from it all.
What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself from Extortion
Extortion can happen on any online platform so it’s important to know what to look out for when you are innocently surfing the web. We have come up with a few tips on how to protect yourself from extortion:
- Keep all of your online presence locked down with strong privacy settings
- Limit the amount of information about yourself online
- Stay clear of spammy texts, emails, and messages you get online
- Beware of strangers who reach out to you, always scope out their page for any red flags
- Never send any images or videos you wouldn’t want to be posted online
Cyberbullying and explicit content sharing can have long-term, devastating effects on individuals. It is important to always be aware of who you are talking to online and to never share explicit content with strangers. If you experience blackmail or cyberbullying, please reach out for help. The sooner you get help, the better chance you have of recovering from these traumatic experiences. Thank you for reading our blog post on cyber safety. Please share this information with your friends and family to keep them safe online as well.