Sextortion is the threat to reveal intimate images, videos, or private information to get you to do something you don’t want to do. Have you experienced sextortion? Start a Digital Investigation.
Depending on the case, we make remotely monitor your interactions to find the bad actor.
Let us give you some outside the box examples of cases we’ve worked on in the past.
Don’t Let Sextoritionist Ruin Your Mental Health
We identify the subject using a variety of tools
We determine the location of the person if possible
Let us help your negotiation process to find the criminal
Search deep web to see if they have leaked evidence
Successful Recovery Cases!
Frequently Asked Questions
I am being extorted - What should I do?
Give us a call to discuss options. Each case is unique. However, do not blindly send an extortionist or a sextortionist money in bitcoin as many will ask for. Call. us to help with the investigation or call law enforcement in your area.
I sent nudes to a catfish, now they want what should I do?
Give us a call to discuss your options. We can help identify who the person really is.
How Much Does A Digital Investigation Cost?
Our typical hourly price is $300 per hour. Our prices vary upon the service(s) you hire us for. Give us a call and we will give you a quote, or match/beat any other licensed digital forensics companies quote.
Can You Find The Person Blackmailing me?
Yes. If the blackmailer distributes your images, there are steps you can take in addition to reporting the crime:
Remove the blackmail content. There are steps you can take to ensure that a web search of your name will not bring up the images in the first page of search results. Take a look at “How to delete things from the internet” for more information. Key steps:
Request that websites take down the information
Contact Google to remove information
Rebuild a positive online reputation to “bury” the negative search results
Report legal violations to search engines
Make a legal case for defamation
Some people choose to register the images with their national copyright office, which strengthens their ownership claim and allows them to demand removal with legal backing.
- File an Internet Crime Complaint
How Do I Handle A Blackmailer Online?
Here are actionable steps you should take if you are dealing with blackmail:
- Call Octo Digital Forensics
- Resist the urge to engage with the blackmailer;
- Do not try to negotiate or pay the ransom;
- Preserve all communications and evidence;
- Enlist support from a trusted person to document the evidence;
- Adjust your online privacy settings;
- Set up online alerts;
- Report the crime to law enforcement;
- Talk to an experienced internet attorney.
What Is The Definition Of Blackmail?
As a criminal offense, blackmail is the crime of threatening to reveal damaging information about a person unless payment or some other benefit is received. In some cases, the perpetrator seeks favors other than money, such as sexual favors or other benefits to gain power over their victim.
Blackmail occurs when someone threatens to reveal humiliating or harmful information unless they are compensated in some way. It is important to note that the crime occurs when the threat is made – no money or property has to change hands. If someone blackmails you, they are breaking the law whether or not you comply with their demands.
While state laws vary, 18 U.S.C. § 873 makes blackmail a federal offense punishable by fine or up to one year of imprisonment.The federal statute defines the crime of blackmail as: “Whoever, under a threat of informing, or as a consideration for not informing, against any violation of any law of the United States, demands or receives any money or other valuable thing, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”
If you think the wording of the federal statute is a little dense and unclear, you are not alone. In the next section, I will break down each element into simpler terms.
What is the Difference Between Extortion & Blackmail?
More often than not, the terms, “blackmail” and “extortion” are used interchangeably. In some states, blackmail is a subcategory of extortion. Extortion comes from the Latin word, “extortionem” which means “twisting out.”
In most states, extortion is the crime of coercing someone to pay or perform a specific act through threats of physical harm or injury. An extortioner might also threaten to accuse or reveal information about the victim that is morally reprehensible or would hurt the victim’s reputation. As a subcategory of extortion, blackmail occurs when the threat involves revealing damaging private information.
Both extortion and blackmail involve threatening a victim to get something of value. Often, both crimes are classified as theft (also referred to as “larceny”). Some states have combined all of the terms under a single, consolidated crime of theft. As you can see by the list of relevant state statutes above, the crime of blackmail goes by a variety of different names – but it is almost always considered a form of theft.
What Is The Federal Law Definition of Blackmail Under the Hobbs Act
On the federal level, the Hobbs Act regulates extortion and robbery.To trigger the Hobbs Act, the extortion must affect interstate or foreign commerce. This might include threats issued by email or another form of communication across state lines. To prove a violation of the Hobbs Act:
- The defendant must have induced or attempted to induce the victim to give up property,
- The defendant must use or attempt to use the victim’s reasonable fear of physical injury or economic harm to convince them to give up property,
- The defendant’s conduct must actually or potentially obstruct, delay, or affect interstate or foreign commerce. This can involve using stolen money to purchase products in other states, interrupting the interstate movement of goods, or hurting an interstate business.
- The defendant’s actual or threatened use of force, violence, or fear was wrongful (meaning the defendant had no lawful claim to the property they are attempting to obtain through extortion).
For more information on each states’ blackmail and extortion statutes, here is a list of relevant statutes.
|Alabama||Extortion||Alabama Criminal Code Section 13A-8-15|
|Alaska||Extortion||Alaska Criminal Law 11.41.520|
|Arizona||Theft by Extortion||Arizona Code 13-1804|
|Arkansas||Coercion||Arkansas Code 5-13-208|
|California||Extortion||California Penal Code 518|
|Colorado||Extortion||Colorado Criminal Code 18-3-207|
|Connecticut||Extortion||Connecticut Penal Code 53a-119|
|Delaware||Extortion||2 Delaware Code Section 846|
|Florida||Extortion||Florida Criminal Code 836.05|
|Georgia||Theft by Extortion||Georgia Code Section 16-8-16|
|Hawaii||Extortion||Hawaii Code Section 707-764|
|Idaho||Theft by Extortion||Idaho Code 18-2403|
|Illinois||Intimidation||Illinois Statutes 720-6|
|Indiana||Intimidation||Indiana Code 35-45-2|
|Iowa||Extortion||Iowa Code 711.4|
|Kansas||Blackmail||Kansas Statutes 21-5428|
|Kentucky||Theft by Extortion||Kentucky Statutes 514.080|
|Louisiana||Extortion||Louisiana Statutes 14:66|
|Maine||Theft by Extortion||Maine Criminal Code 15-355|
|Maryland||Extortion||Maryland Code 3-701|
|Massachusetts||Attempted Extortion||Massachusetts Laws 265-25|
|Michigan||Malicious Threats to Extort Money||Michigan Penal Code 750.213|
|Minnesota||Coercion||Minnesota Statutes 609.27|
|Mississippi||Extortion||Mississippi Code 97-3-82|
|Missouri||Blackmail and Coercion||Missouri Statutes 566.200|
|Montana||Privacy in Communications||Montana Code 45-8-213|
|Nebraska||Theft by Extortion||Nebraska Statute 28-513|
|Nevada||Extortion||Nevada Statute 205.320|
|New Hampshire||Theft by Extortion||New Hampshire Statute 637:5|
|New Jersey||Theft by Extortion||New Jersey Statute 2C:20-5|
|New Mexico||Extortion||New Mexico Statute 30-16-9|
|New York||Larceny by Extortion||New York Penal Law 155.05|
|North Carolina||Blackmail||North Carolina Code 14-118|
|North Dakota||Theft||North Dakota Code 12.1-23|
|Ohio||Extortion||Ohio Code 2905.11|
|Oklahoma||Blackmail||Oklahoma Statutes 21-1488|
|Oregon||Extortion||Oregon Statutes 164.075|
|Pennsylvania||Theft by Extortion||Pennsylvania Code 18-3923|
|Rhode Island||Extortion and Blackmail||Rhode Island General Laws 11-42-2|
|South Carolina||Blackmail||South Carolina Code 16-17-640|
|South Dakota||Theft by Threat||South Dakota Code 22-30A-4|
|Tennessee||Extortion||Tennessee Code 39-14-112|
|Texas||Theft||Texas Penal Code 31.02|
|Utah||Theft by Extortion||Utah Code 76-6-406|
|Vermont||Extortion||Vermont Statutes 13-1701|
|Virginia||Extortion||Virginia Code 18.2-59|
|Washington||Extortion||Washington Code 9A:56.110-130|
|Washington D.C.||Blackmail||D.C. Code 22-3252|
|West Virginia||Extortion||West Virginia Code 61-2-13|
|Wisconsin||Threats to Injure or Accuse of Crime||Wisconsin Statutes 943.30|
|Wyoming||Blackmail||Wyoming Statutes 6-2-402|
What is Sextortion aka Sexual Blackmail
Sextortion is the most common form of blackmail we see in our practice. It is also referred to as webcam blackmail, internet blackmail, cyber harassment, and online extortion. Many states have enacted revenge porn and sextortion-specific statutes, recognizing that this type of crime is occurring more and more often.
While sextortion statutes differ, it is typically defined as a perpetrator threatening to publish explicit content (texts, pictures, videos) unless you comply with their demands. Sadly, there are some sophisticated sextortionists and sextortion rings that defraud multiple victims.
Perpetrators might create a fake persona (catfishing) and persuade their victim to share nude photos or perform sexual acts on a webcam. Once they obtain the explicit material, they start threatening to expose the content unless they are paid, or more sexual acts are performed. They may even start sending explicit content to friends and family over social media to heighten the victim’s fear.
Perpetrators often target individuals who they perceive as having the ability to pay as well as those who have a reputation to uphold. In 2019 alone, there were 43,101 known victims of extortion who lost a combined $107.5 million to sextortionists.