What to do if you are a victim of extortion
Internet blackmail or extortion is often very stressful for the victim. It is very difficult to deal with extortion on your own. To stop extortion, you will need to develop a strategy, which will on one hand put an end to the blackmail whilst at the same time guarantee that the information that you wish to protect will remain private.
Remember, in most cases, blackmail does not last forever. There will often be an event that will bring the blackmail to an end. In many cases, this event involves transfer of fear. In some cases, this event will involve the transfer of fear, or at least the perfection of fear being transferred from the victim to the blackmailer. You might need to create this event yourself, which would allow you to finally take control over the situation. How long extortion lasts would depend on many factors. Extortion could last for months and in some cases, for years. It can go on for as long as the blackmailer believes that they can extract money out of the victim. It is like squeezing a lemon. As long as the blackmailer believes there is juice there for them, which they can squeeze without too much effort (or risk) they will continue with the extortion. The extortion will often last until the victim takes a step that threatens the blackmailer with exposure. Blackmailers like to take many risks, but they will hardly ever expose themselves to a risk of personal exposure. The aim of the blackmailer is to extract money out of the victim. They do not care who the victim is and if they feel the victim has become too risky for them, they will stop and move to the next one.
How to deal with extortion and to stop it, you need to be one step ahead of your blackmailer and make them believe that you can find out who they are. The key to being able to reveal the identity of the blackmailer, is to communicate with them via email or through mainstream social media. Email communication will often allow you to trace back information about the blackmailer. You will need to install or plant cookies which will feed back information about the IP address and often the physical location of the blackmailer. Once you have located the blackmailer, you will be able to obtain court orders that will help you stop the extortion. Generally speaking, blackmailers will stop extortion of you when they feel that they are going to be exposed. Once a blackmailer is exposed, she will not be able to carry out the extortion any longer and is likely to face a prison sentence. So even the perceived risk by the blackmailer that she could be exposed, is likely to result in the blackmailer leaving you alone and moving on to their next victim.
If someone is blackmailing you online, or if you are facing sextortion, seek legal advice as soon as possible. This will help you understand your legal situation and the steps you can take in order to bring the extortion to an end.
There are various methods by which it is possible to identify and then stop the person who is extorting you. The sooner you seek legal advice, the better because you will be able to take steps, without delay that will help you identify the person behind the extortion. You might also report the blackmail to the police.
The police might be able to help you identify and then prosecute the person who is blackmailing you. However, blackmail on the internet is an area which the police in the UK could do with better training and resources. In many cases the police have been unable to assist victims of blackmail or extortion on the internet with the most common reason being that the police were unable to obtain proof of who the person committing this extortion is. The police will often rely on social media companies to provide them with information about the blackmailer. But this could take a long time and often the police will give up upon meeting the first hurdle. Furthermore, it could be many months before the police can obtain relevant evidence, which is not what victims of blackmail want or need. Things might get even more complicated for the police if the person committing extortion is located outside of the jurisdiction.
Another difficulty that you might have in asking the police for help or how to deal with extortion, is that you will be risking having a fairly large number of individuals becoming exposed to the private information that you are trying to protect. If you are famous, or in the public eye for any reason, this is the last thing you would want. The risk of the private information being leaked will naturally increase once the information had landed in police hands. At this level of crime, you should not assume that the information you are trying to protect is going to be safe, simply by the sheer number of people who are going to be exposed to it within the criminal justice system.
You will need to ask yourself if you can afford taking this risk. If the matter finally goes to court, which could take many months, there is no guarantee your name will be anonymised either.
To prove that someone is blackmailing you, you will need to have evidence that shows that you did not volunteer yourself to pay the blackmailer and that you paid money because you felt fearful that private information will be revealed by the blackmailer. There have been cases involving blackmail on dating websites or between sugar daddy-sugar baby situations where the sugar baby claimed that the payment by the victim was done voluntarily, as part of an arrangement. A sugar baby blackmailer will often make threats that are indirect or implied.
For example, she will refer to the victim's family, his professional position or his good reputation when asking for payment. In some cases, victims of blackmail had deleted crucial evidence from the early days of the extortion, which could otherwise have proven that they had been blackmailed. If you are a victim of blackmail on the internet, do not delete evidence. Instead, store the evidence securely. Perhaps protected by a password or on an external key drive but do not delete the evidence or close accounts that cannot be retrieved because this could make it difficult for you to prove that someone is blackmailing you.