Blackmail and Extortion

Blackmail and Extortion

Who Can Engage in Blackmail and Extortion?

Sadly, blackmail and extortion are not generally engaged in by strangers.  Often, a former spouse or significant other threatens to share a naked photograph or video online unless the victim gives them something in exchange.  Unfortunately, this exchange usually comes at a high price and can be physical, financial, or emotional in nature.  An ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend may force you to stay in a relationship while trying to scare you by saying they will send your images to your mom, dad, employer, or sibling.  At Daniel Szalkiewicz and Associates, P.C., we have dealt with it all.

What is Blackmail and Extortion?

Blackmail and extortion are defined as the “criminal offense of unlawfully obtaining money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion.”

Because of the rise of the internet, a new type of blackmail and extortion has arisen – sextortion.  According to the FBI,  “Sextortion is a criminal act that occurs when someone demands something of value, typically images of a sexual nature, sexual favors, or money, from a person by either:

  • Threatening to release or distribute material the victim seeks to keep private. This material often includes sexually explicit images, videos, e-mail, and text messages.
  • Threatening to financially harm friends or relatives of the victim by using information obtained from the victim’s computer unless they comply with demands.
  • Withholding something the victim needs or wants unless they comply with demands. This is usually perpetrated by someone in a position of power or authority, such as a representative of the government, educator, or employer.


A copy of the FBI’s pamphlet can be found here.

What to do if Someone is Threatening You with Blackmail and Extortion?

Your privacy is important.  We will help you speak with the proper authorities, send cease and desist letters, and work our hardest to protect you.  We take threats by cowards personally, and will do whatever we can to try to make sure your private images are not disclosed.