Money extortion, electronic extortion, and cyber or Internet extortion happen every now and then.

If you are a shop owner, you are demanded by some offenders to pay for their protection to prevent something bad (such as an assault on the shopkeeper or damage to his or her store or goods) from happening.

Or, you've received messages like: "Give me $5,000,000, or, I'm going to post these private pics of you and your family on the net.

Yes, you are being extorted, if you are into these kinds of situation.

And here we focus on what to do if someone is extorting you, and ways to protect against extortion or blackmail.


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What Is Considered Extortion

In Wikipedia, extortion is defined as:

"Extortion (also called shakedown, outwrestling, and exaction) is a criminal offense of obtaining money, property, or services from an institution, through coercion."

And there are many forms of extortion, like the most commonly seen money extortion, electronic extortion, online or net extortion. There are strict laws against extortion, and the authorities take these kinds of attempts very seriously.

So what's the penalty for extortion?

Extortion is generally punished by a fine or imprisonment, or both. Under federal and state laws, extortion carries up to a 20-year prison sentence. And the punishment for extortion depends on whether force was used in extorting money or other property.

How to Prevent Extortion

What to Do If You Are Being Extorted

If you feel that you are the victim of an extortion attempt, how do you handle threats of extortion?

Always remember, the most effective way to deal with extortion or blackmail is to report the suspected crime right away. Agreeing to pay will only make matters worse – once the criminal realizes that you are willing to pay they will only make further demands in an attempt to drain your cash and victimize you further.

How to Report Extortion

Follow the below steps to effectively handle the threats of extortion:

Step 1: Collect your documents or information to prove that someone is blackmailing you. This could be a spoken threat or a written threat. We'll explain the details in the later part.

Step 2: Report the event to the local authorities. You need to go to your local police station to file your report in person instead of calling 911.

Step 3: You may also want to report the extortion attempt to the FBI and state police to further protect your rights and help you get the justice you deserve, or the person that is blackmailing you lives in a different state.

While you are contacting the local police, be smart to deal with extortionists. Don't make them mad, or, they may go to extremes and do something harmful to you.

How Do You Prove Extortion

An indispensable step to ask for police help when dealing with money extortion is to prove extortion.

According to an organization providing online law support, "It is incumbent upon the prosecution to show that there was a malicious threat of injury against a person, which was communicated . . ."

Then how to prove someone is blackmailing you?

To prove someone is trying to extorting you, you need to gather evidence, and then report to relevant authorities. You may check your state's law to learn the elements of extortion, which will generally include a spoken threat or a written threat. And usually the written evidence is much stronger.

In a word, how to prove extortion is a professional issue about law. It is better for you to consult specialized legal professionals or lawyers.

How to Deal with Cyber Extortion

What to do with online extortion? If you are under internet extortion, you can also contact the company hosting the suspicious website. Web hosts take their reputations seriously, and they do not want to be seen as assisting criminal enterprises.

If the criminals involved claimed to be from a legitimate entity like the IRS, the FBI or a company like Google, you can also contact the agency or company and let them know. There is often a cat and mouse game between the bad guys and legitimate businesses, and notifying those companies of the extortion attempt will help them protect themselves – and their customers.

How Can You Avoid Extortion

Extortion can happen to anyone of you. It means that you need to take proactive steps to protect yourself and stop the potential victimizers in their tracks.

Here are some ways that you can protect yourself from blackmail.

Way 1: Safeguard Your Computer

These days a great many extortion efforts originate in the online world, so it's important to learn how to avoid cyber blackmail.

Safeguarding your computer can go a long way toward stopping someone from extorting you.

Make sure your computer is running the latest antivirus software and that the virus definitions are updated on at least a daily basis. Be wary of unsolicited emails and avoid clicking on unknown links. Be on the lookout for the early warning signs of a malware or virus infection, including a sudden slowdown in computer performance or being inundated with pop-up ads.

Be sure to protect your other electronic devices as well, and lock down your wireless network with a strong password.

Never forget to secure your WiFi-enabled security camera, if you have one. Home wireless surveillance camera is easily getting hacked, and hackers may take advantage of your private videos to extorting money from you. You should be running security software on your tablet and smartphone as well, since an infection there could spread to the rest of your home network.

Way 2: Watch What You Share

These days many of us live our lives online, and that can be a lot of fun. It is great to catch up with old friends and college roommates, but be careful what you share and with whom.

A good way to stop extortion or prevent someone from blackmailing you is to keep your Facebook page and other social media sites private, and check the security settings frequently to make sure you are protected.

Thus, to avoid being extorted money, be careful what you share with the public via social media, since an enterprising criminal or an ex-partner with ill intent could put the pieces together and find a way to blackmail or extort you. Sharing personal details on social media is always a risk, so think before you post.

Way 3: Be Aware of Current Scams

In some cases a criminal who tries to extort money from you will have real harmful information to reveal, but in other cases they will just be bluffing.

How you approach the extortion attempt may depend in large measure on how believable the individual's claims are, so it pays to be aware of current scams and the stories of other victims and potential victims.

There are always plenty of these kinds of scams going around, both online and off. They take many forms and pop up in many parts of the country. One common extortion attempt involves a caller purporting to be from the FBI, IRS or other governmental authority. The caller claims that the victim owes money or has committed a crime, and they demand money to head off the arrest or reduce the charges.

The fact that the IRS, FBI and other branches of the government do not operate in this manner is one clear sign that these are pure extortion attempts. If you are contacted by anyone claiming to be from the IRS, FBI or other government agency, you should contact the police right away to report the attempted crime, to prevent yourself from being extorted.

Click to learn more about how to prevent door-to-door scams.

We hope you'll never be a victim of extortion. But if you are chosen, don't be scared. You may try the above-mentioned to handle the extortion or blackmail. If you have experienced this kind of thing, share with us how you handle it, if you don't mind.

  • Fredrika van Rooyen

    My mom is currently the victim of extortion. We have tried to block this person's attempts to make contact with her and now we wait to see whether he will leave her be. The problem when blocking someone is that your phone and facebook then blocks and remove the person and the history from your phone. We now have no evidence left. If however he makes contact again somehow, we will be sure to make copies of the conversations. It is one of the scariest things we have ever experienced!

    • Amanda

      Hi Fredrika, really sorry to know that your mom is suffering from extortion. Hope you can get rid of it very soon!

  • Francisca Blackwell

    Do you need to hire a hacker or private investigator, simply search for thebeekeeper on telegram. His skills are unparalleled.

    • Amanda

      Great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amanda

    Hi Heart, sorry to hear that.You may call the police if she charges you again and again.

  • rose

    If I have to pick another hacker to help me for a particular job, I'd definitely choose HACKBONE10 a hundred times, cause I couldn't just understand how he helped me get archives of chat and media files of my husband, sex chatting with his hoe. Everyone definitely thought I was crazy cause I didn't have any evidence to back my claims, till a college friend of mine referred me to him and trust me, the evidences he helped me obtain, was all i needed for my deserved justice. please contact him via HACKBONE10 [AT] GMAllL for all forms of assistance

  • Raven

    My understanding of this crime is clear. I have a customer who asked for a sum of money or she will launch legal proceeding. I feel as if I should head it off with a legal challenge first

  • Barbie

    I'm being extorted right now. My son passed away from unknown causes on July 31,2019. His partner has many bank acct and stocks and bonds. They are not married. He told me explicitly that he wanted to buy and pay for 3 crypts in a Mausoleum in Fishkill, N.Y. One crypt for my son, one for me and one for him.I thought that was very generous of him until we got to the Mausoleum and lo and behold he only had enough money for 2 crypts. Then the extortion started with him saying that he wanted to buy my mobile home and then rent it to me or I could sell it and give HIM the money to purchase the crypt ( don't think so) , where would I live and if I gave him the money he wouldn't buy the crypt anyway. He also says he will give me the Camaro. It's mine anyway, it's titled in my son's name only. Plus many things in the house that he doesn't want. What he wants is my son's body to be buried next to him. I could put a stop to that but he still needs to be buried. And this is a top of the line resting place. He can be removed by his birth father at any time. Now, though, starts the threats that if I start trouble that I don't know whom I'm dealing with and I will wish I hadn't. He has zero against me. Should I talk this over with the cops or with an attorney? Burial is tomorrow.

  • Stephanie

    I have a friend who is being extorted by a local gang with extreme violence and death threats if they don't comply with their demands. They have already extorted $2,000 and have threatened family and friends with death threats. My friend afraid of going to authorities cause these gang killers know where they live. HELP i don't know what to do

    • Amanda

      Hello Stephanie, we are sorry for what your friend has encountered. It is best to call the police since the gang has been threatening your friend's life. Hope everything would be well with you guys.

  • Katrina Milburn

    My old psychiatrist who was writing letters on my behalf for a custody case let me go when she found out she was going to be subpoenaed! She wrote numerous glowing letters about me and my relationship with my young daughter. I immediately found another psychiatrist, I get treatment for ADD and PTSD, then COVID hit and the court case was put off for months. My last visit with this psychiatrist was in April 2020. When it came close to the new hearing my attorney subpoenaed her again. She was one of my strongest witnesses. Before she was subpoenaed I requested my statement for the entire time I saw that psychiatrist. I have Medicare and Medicaid, yet I had to pay every visit?! I trusted my psychiatrist, she had her own independent practice. I compared my statement I was sent to my bank statements as well as my monthly Medicare statements. None of the three added up or were correct. I'm not supposed to pay a penny, which I did not know at the time. This psychiatrist actually harassed me by sending me a statement with diagnostic codes and the word "subpoena" written above the codes. I've received a statement saying they owe me $4.95 initially, then this first subpoena statement was telling me to pay $1,000, the next one was demanding $4,000-$4.95. and in an email she stated horrible, false accusations making up stuff she was going to say on stand if I did not pay her. I told my attorney and he told her she is not getting any money and told her to be at court, day and time. She then blackmailed him trying to extort money saying off the wall stuff about me demanding $5,000 from my own attorney!?! I was harassed by her and her receptionist Friday evening and all day until 10:30 Saturday. Even after telling her to stop contacting me. She continued, so my attorney late Saturday night told her to leave me alone or else he will be pursuing criminal charges. She was complaining about loosing clients for half a day! Long story short I've contacted Medicare and Medicaid and this psychiatrist has committed Medicare fraud, yet since it's been longer than 30 days I've been told every time I call theres nothing they can do. The psychiatrist is billing for 30 minute sessions but I only saw her for 15 minutes and she admitted this in one of the letters to my attorney. Then two days before court this psychiatrist contacted the Judge of our upcoming hearing/trial directly!!!!! How she knew who it was and how to get in touch with him is crazy, but because she did the judge is obligated to tell all parties in the case. This was in June, and I just received another email demanding money or else she was going to do (she mentioned several things). Then I received a letter. I have beyond enough proof to get her but I'm scared that someone will come after me. This psychiatrist makes 75 percent more than most psychiatrists! I believe she committing fraud not just with me but with a lot of others! Snd this is why she's doing this.

    I am going through a current custody case and have to be careful. This psychiatrist is in a different county. I don't know what to do but I know this is escalating and I need to do something.



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