Report The Sextortion Scam To The Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker
The Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker is an online tool that enables consumers and businesses to report scams in an effort to prevent others from falling prey to similar cons.
The tool collects and presents scam data in a searchable heat map showing users the number and types of scams and hoaxes reported in their communities. Though the Scam Tracker cannot alert authorities about your specific situation, it can help maximize efforts to educate consumers and stop scammers across the United States and Canada.
How to File a Report With the BBB Scam Tracker
Step 1: Go to the BBB Scam Tracker homepage
Step 2: Click Report a Scam.
Step 3: Enter information about the sextortionist or scammer in question. Be sure to use as much detail as possible including any phone numbers, email addresses, and known countries.
Step 4: Enter details regarding the scam that transpired. You will be able to include the method of contact, a summary of the incident and any screenshots of communications.
Step 5: Enter information about the person who was scammed. If you are the person the report is about, please enter as much information as you are comfortable sharing.
Step 6: Certify that the report is a truthful account of your experience, complete the CAPTCHA form, and submit your report to the BBB.
Whats The Definition Of Internet Blackmail
Falling under the wide umbrella of extortion, Internet blackmail is the threatened revelation of personal or intimate information to the general public or specific group .
Internet blackmail generally includes the threatened revelation and dissemination of highly embarrassing, private, and damaging information or media. And, should a victim fail to give in to a blackmailers demands, the damaging material will subsequently be released to a specific audience or platform.
Public humiliation is typically at the center of every Internet blackmail claim.
So, how does Internet blackmail differ from cyber extortion?
The fundamental difference between Internet blackmail and cyber extortion is that cyber extortion generally includes a threat of imminent or future harm. Internet blackmail rarely gives rise to a harmful physical act. Internet blackmail is generally carried out for a perpetrators personal gain of property, money, or position.
Several common names for Internet blackmail include:
- Online blackmail,
- Sextortion, or simply,
In certain cases, online blackmail may sometimes be referred to as Cyber extortion, which you can read further about by checking out our comprehensive article, What to Do If Someone Is Blackmailing You Online.
Internet Crimes Complaint Center
You can file a complaint with the Internet Crimes Complaint Center , which is a web-based portal for reporting suspected internet-facilitated criminal activity to the FBI.
The IC3 has been a respected reporting agency to the FBI since 2000, and it has become an excellent option for victims to report complaints of all forms of online fraudincluding internet extortion and sextortion.
After a complaint is filed with the IC3, the information is reviewed by an analyst and forwarded to federal, state, local, or international law enforcement or regulatory authorities with jurisdiction, as appropriate.
How to File a Report With the Internet Crimes Complaint Center
Step 1: Go to the Internet Crimes Complaint Center homepage.
Step 2: Click File A Complaint
Step 3: Click the button next to Submit an Internet crime complaint with the IC3
Step 4: Read the terms and conditions and click I Accept
Step 5: Enter your information in the Victim Information box.
Step 6: Enter any transactions that have transpired due to blackmail under Financial Transaction. Complete one section for each financial transaction.
Step 7: Provide a description of the incident in as much detail as possible under the Description of Incident fields.
Step 8: Enter any details about your extortionist under Information About the Subject Who Victimized You box.
Step 10: Confirm whether you are the victim in the incident you are reporting. If not, please provide their contact information if available.
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What Should You Do If Someone Is Blackmailing You With Pictures
If you are receiving threatening communications from a sextortionist, try not to panic. Use the following steps to deal with the internet sextortion as quickly as possible.
1. Stay Calm
Being attacked and sextorted online can be a nerve-racking experience. It may seem as though you are trapped and condemned to comply with your extortionists horrible demandsbut take a deep breath, step back, and look at the big picture from a different perspective.
More often than not, when an online sextortionist first realizes that you may not comply with their demands, they will respond with aggression and unreasonable threats.
While an extortionist may threaten to expose or embarrass you by releasing sensitive information, they are also aware that if they do follow through with their threats, they will probably lose the opportunity to continue extorting you. in the video below, we walk you through the likelihood that a sextortionist will act on their threats.
Video: What Are the Chances a Sextortionist Releases My Intimate Images & Videos?
Keeping this awareness in mind when reacting to their threats is essential to putting an end to their extortion effectively.
2. Document and Preserve All Evidence
3. Do NOT Try to Mitigate the Damage
This is almost always a mistake. Do not assume that your online extortionist will follow through with their threats.
4. Do Not Give in to Their Demands
Speak To A Trusted Adult
Maybe you made some mistakes online, but you dont deserve to be blackmailed. Sextortion is a serious crime, and theres no shame in reaching out to someone you trust for help.
Talk to a family member, friend, a teacher, or anyone you feel comfortable with. They can help you take the steps to end a sextortion threat.
Sextortionists are predators that feed on fears of embarrassment and punishment. Dont give into their ploys. Chances are you arent the only one targeted speaking up may help others too.
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Fake Emails Often Display Some Of The Following Characteristics:
- The senders email address doesnt tally with the trusted organisations website address.
- The email is sent from a completely different address or a free web mail address.
- The email does not use your proper name, but uses a non-specific greeting like dear customer.
- A sense of urgency for example the threat that unless you act immediately your account may be closed.
- A prominent website link. These can be forged or seem very similar to the proper address, but even a single characters difference means a different website.
- A request for personal information such as user name, password or bank details.
- The email contains spelling and grammatical errors.
- You werent expecting to get an email from the company that appears to have sent it.
- The entire text of the email is contained within an image rather than the usual text format.
- The image contains an embedded hyperlink to a bogus site.
If you think you may have been the victim of fraud or cybercrime and incurred a financial loss or have been hacked as a result of responding to a phishing message, you should report this to Action Fraud
Have you spotted a suspicious email?
If you have received an email which youre not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service :
The message might be from a company you dont normally receive communications from, or someone you do not know. You may just have a hunch. If you are suspicious, you should report it.
Internet Blackmail In California
Under California Penal Code Section 518, blackmail is prescribed under the blanket term of extortion. Section 518 reads:
Extortion is the obtaining of property or other consideration from another, with his or her consent, or the obtaining of an official act of a public officer, induced by wrongful use of force or fear, or under color of official right.
Section of Penal Code Section 518 then further elaborates on what constitutes consideration, defining it as anything of value, including sexual conduct
Blackmail is a felony in the state of California, meaning a perpetrator will face more than one year in prison and a fine up to USD $10,000. Depending on the nature of the act blackmailed and requested in California, blackmail may be considered a wobbler offense, meaning it may be tried as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
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What Kids And Teens Need To Know
- Why do young people agree to do this?
- The people who commit this crime have studied how to reach and target children and teens. One person the FBI put in prison for this crime was a man in his 40s who worked as a youth minister so he could learn how teens talked to each other. Then, he created social media profiles where he pretended to be a teenage girl. This girl would start talking to boys online and encourage them to make videos. Another person offered money and new smartphones to his victims. In one case, the criminal threatened a girl, saying he would hurt her and bomb her school, if she didnt send pictures. Other cases start with the offer of currency or credits in a video game in exchange for a quick picture.
- How do you know who can be trusted online?
- Thats what is so hard about online connections. The FBI has found that those who commit this crime may have dozens of different online accounts and profiles and are communicating with many young people at the same timetrying to find victims. Be extremely cautious when you are communicating with anyone online. Its easy to think: Im on my phone, in my own house, what could possibly happen? But you can very quickly give a criminal the information and material he or she needs to do you harm.
What Is The Next Step If Stuck In A Situation Of Blackmailing And Being Harassed
File a complaint! Yes, do not hesitate to write a complaint and file the same utmost at the nearest police station. This is the first step you can take by registering an FIR with the nearest police station and sending a legal notice of the same to the offender. If in case, blackmailing has been done on the platform of social media or over the internet, along with registering a complaint with the nearest police station, a complaint can also be filed in the cyber cell.
A complaint of blackmailing can be filed online through the National Cyber Crime Portal under two heads, cybercrime against women and children and other cybercrimes.
The most effective way to file a complaint against blackmailing is to reach out to a cybercrime cell where individuals who cannot pay costs or lack necessary information can still make a written complaint of the same. You have to provide your details such as name, contact number, and email address along with the act of blackmailing and details of the offender as known at that time.
If you are the one and unable to seek help from other authorities, you can visit the National Commission for Women to file a harassment or blackmailing complaint.
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Bomb Threats By Telephone
If you receive a bomb threat over the telephone, Ready.gov provides the following information on what to do:
- Get as much information from the caller as possible. Try to ask the following questions:
- When is the bomb going to explode?
- Where is it right now?
- What does it look like?
- What kind of bomb is it?
- What will cause it to explode?
- Did you place the bomb?
The Department of Homeland Security also provides a helpful telephone bomb threat checklist.
Get more information on what to do if you receive a bomb threat or find a suspicious item.
How To Respond To Internet Blackmail
The simple answer is DONT! Do not respond to an Internet blackmailer, harasser, sextortioner, or other malicious individuals. Thats exactly what they want you to do.
The very crux of Internet blackmail and online harassment involves a one-sided power dynamic. Once you respond to a perpetrator, that dynamic shifts even further in the harasser/blackmailers favor. While it might seem counterintuitive to cut all contact with a blackmailer, engaging with them usually only stands to make the situation worse.
Do not engage and do not pay their requested ransom , as theres no actual guarantee the online blackmail, sextortion, or abuse will stop. Paying a ransom can further worsen the situation, as they will then know youre willing to do anything. Requests for just money can then escalate into more sinister requests, such as sexual images or intimate videos.
You should be focusing on the most important task at hand, reporting it to the police and documenting all relevant communications, content, and evidence.
If you really believe an online blackmailer or extortioner is going to follow through with their threats to contact friends, family members, and colleagues , it may be in your best interest to discuss the matter with the potential audience as soon as possible. While it might be extremely embarrassing and painful, its likely better for friends, family members, and colleagues to hear it from you first, instead of receiving a random message or image from a stranger .
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Report Sextortion To The Police
Sextortion is a crime comparable to blackmail and what the police can do about blackmail depends on the evidence. A sextortion case requires evidence too. So its essential to keep records of all correspondence, images, video, and any other communication with the perpetrator.
When reporting sextortion to the police, these records of communication help create a stronger case. They can help investigators hold the sextortionist to account and prevent more people from being victimized into blackmail for sex in the future.
It may be possible to report blackmail to the police online and the same goes for a sextortion incident. Use a search engine to locate and contact your nearest police precinct, and research your options from there.
Report Sextortion to the FBI
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation makes sextortion a priority especially cases with young people. A single sextortion case can involve a national, or even international, list of victims. The FBI has the experience and resources to pursue the most sophisticated sexortion operations.
To report sextortion to the FBI, contact your local FBI office, or call the FBI toll-free at 1-800-CALL-FBI. You can also report sextortion to the FBI online.
How To Report Internet Blackmail: Should You Respond To It
Before we get into how to report Internet blackmail, were going to tackle how to respond to Internet blackmail, as doing so is essential for giving yourself the best fighting chance possible to make it stop. Responding improperly or without tact could further complicate matters and make reporting Internet blackmail an even more stressful process than it already is.
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If You Should You To Blackmail And Our Privacy Statement
In those with callers you into providing data breaches are offered a blackmailer. Try to report these reports, particularly cautious of these scam email and seek to. Having good passwords and a way to store them is only a small part of the battle. If you for free products that leaves skin looks like caffeine levels throughout the overuse of pure satisfaction. Feel too good to be true? In reducing the victim of the list, or the inherent greed and an garda síochána and email blackmail to report police themselves would be difficult. The email requests the payment in Bitcoin and provides an address to send the payment to. In the last few weeks, there has been an upswing in people receiving threatening, extortion email messages, demanding payment to avoid release of sensitive information. Have unwittingly advanced malicious software and report scams. For helping him a money to collect evidence to report blackmail email may see the caller id.
Report Extortion To Our Team As Soon As Possible
When dealing with sextortion we always recommend victims contact their local authorities and the FBIs Internet Crime Complaint Center 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.
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What Can I Do
Sexual extortion can be devastating, so it’s important to get help.
If you are in Australia
- Make an image-based abuse report to eSafety we will work with you to get the right outcomes.
- If you are concerned about your physical safety call Triple Zero or contact local police.
If you are not in Australia
- Visit our International resources page to find out where you can get support, depending on where you live.
- You may also want to consider reporting to local police.
What You Need To Know To Protect Yourself From Extortion
Extortion can happen on any online platform so its 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 wouldnt 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.
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