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Having recently been the victim of online extortion, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure where to turn. Every day more and more victims are coming forward to tell their online extortion stories. In this blog post, we will cover how these types of crimes happen and what to do if you are being extorted online. With a few helpful tips, you can overcome being extorted online.
Do not engage or give in – If you receive any extortion messages or emails, the first thing you must do is not react or respond to them. It is crucial to avoid giving in to their demands, as hard as it may be. Often, this will make the criminal more aggressive.
Document the evidence – The next step is to document any evidence of the extortion. This includes taking screenshots of all communication. I know it can be tempting to delete the evidence and block the criminal but having a record of the messages can help law enforcement trace the person who is extorting you.
Report the extortion – Get in touch with your local law enforcement agency, and report the extortion immediately. We also recommend reporting the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Give them all the evidence you have collected and obtain a case reference number to track the investigation’s progress.
Protect your online presence – It is essential to take steps to safeguard your online presence. Change your email and social media passwords so that the extortionist cannot access any of your accounts. Consider increasing the privacy settings on your social media accounts or even temporarily closing them to limit the attacker’s contact with you or your friends.
Seek help – Extortion or online blackmail can be a traumatic experience, and it is vital to take care of yourself. Seek support from family and friends, or contact a mental health professional who can help you work through this challenging time. Remember, you are not alone.
How Does it Happen?
Extortion is a type of criminal activity that has been around for years. It involves using threats or intimidation to force someone to hand over money, property, or services against their will. Extortion victims can be anyone from vulnerable individuals to large corporations, and the methods of extortion can vary widely:
· Blackmail: Where compromising information is used as leverage for financial gain.
· Racketeering: Where criminals obtain money from businesses by promising to protect them from harm.
· Coercion: This tool is used to manipulate and force someone’s behavior or compliance by leveraging external pressure.
Whether it is an organized crime syndicate or a lone individual, extortion can be a terrifying and dangerous crime affecting countless people daily.
Overall, extortion online should be taken seriously. As technology becomes more and more sophisticated, so do cybercriminals. It is necessary to double down on your security settings and limit the information you put into the world. If you are proactive with online security and stay aware of online extortion, you might swiftly avoid these criminals’ plight.
If you are unsure of what to do if being blackmailed, we urge you to contact Cyber Investigation immediately and report online blackmail. With agents available 24/7 on our blackmail helpline, you do not have to go through this alone. Have a trusted Investigator on your side; contact us today!
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