What to Do If You Are Being Blackmailed on Instagram

It’s possible to feel like it’s never going to be a problem until it happens. Being the victim of Instagram blackmail can be terrifying and overwhelming, but the positive side is that legal alternatives that you can choose from.

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If you’re being targeted via Instagram, We recommend you follow these steps:

  1. Remain calm,
  2. Stop engaging in blackmailing and don’t give in to their demands.
  3. Make sure you have privacy restrictions in place for all of your social media profiles
  4. Documentation of all communications with the blackmailer
  5. The blackmailer’s account should be reported or posted to Instagram for general abuse, harassment or scams and any other Conditions of Service (ToS) violation,
  6. Contact your local law enforcement officials, cybercriminal agencies like The Internet Crimes Complaint Center (IC3), or an experienced blackmail lawyer and
  7. Trust someone you can have faith in.

What Constitutes Instagram Blackmail?

If you hear “blackmail, ” you could imagine someone threatening to divulge a secret concerning you unless you pay the person money. Although this is often true, lawful definitions of “blackmail” are more complex.

What is the Legal Definition of Blackmail?

The crime of blackmail is threatening to reveal embarrassing or damaging information about someone until they comply with the demands of the responsible person. Certain blackmailers do not demand money but instead, try to increase the power of their victims by demanding additional concessions like sexual favors or other illegal activity.

State laws may differ, but federal law prohibits blackmail as a crime, and as per 18 U.S.C. SS 873, it is punishable with the possibility of a fine up to 1 year of imprisonment.

If an extortionist is targeting you, they’ve already committed an offense, regardless of whether you have paid them.

What Are the Most Common Forms of Blackmail Found on Instagram?

Blackmail is a common occurrence on online forums, including social media. The lure to share too much, the possibility of messaging private messages to other users, and the privacy of criminals’ profiles make Instagram an ideal breeding ground for various forms of extortion.

Below, we will discuss the most commonly used kinds of blackmail that can take place on Instagram, including sextortion and sexual harassment, revenge porn, and cyberbullying.


The most frequent type of blackmail on the internet in Minc Law is sextortion, which is the threat of sharing explicit content (texts, photos, videos, texts, etc.) if the victim does not comply with the demands of the threatening person. Sextortion may also be referred to as:

  • Blackmail via Webcam,
  • Cyber harassment,
  • Cyber extortion,
  • Internet blackmail,
  • Online extortion.

Many sextortionists work by creating fake Instagram accounts, then lulling them into making a false feeling of security.

Revenge Porn

Revenge porn, also referred to as pornography without consent, is a different type of blackmail where people who perpetrate it threaten to release sexually explicit material in exchange for money or other benefits.

The term “revenge” is frequently employed in conjunction with sextortion; however, they differ in a few ways. The victims of revenge porn usually are former lovers who were first given the explicit material with the victim’s consent. In some cases, the perpetrator does not ask for any cash or even favors. The reason they publish the photos is sole for outrage or retribution.

If the person who is the perpetrator is a stranger that got their victim to share explicit material, that kind of blackmail is often called sextortion.

Sexual Harassment & Cyberbullying

Finally, some online criminals Photoshop pictures of the victim(s) and then use Instagram to harass or bully them. Make fun of them. They then demand a ransom to end the harassment.

What is the Typical Profile of a Social Media Blackmailer?

The typical online extortionist is not the person who claims to be. They are usually lovely because they use fake pictures and videos to show their authenticity.

These videos and images are often taken and copied from profiles of other users, stock photo sites, and pornography websites. One method to identify the catfisher is to run their images through a reverse image lookup on Google.

After a blackmailer on social media has established an account, they will reach out to potential victims. People try to make friends with you and then use flattery to get you to relax your security. They eventually get you to engage in flirting or sexually explicit activities such as sending detailed images, sexting, or engaging in sexual activities through video chat.

They aim to capture your exact words, then utilize that information to make you blackmailable.

Here are some warning signs of being on the lookout for when engaging. A stranger via Instagram and other similar social media platforms:

  • They’re not willing to take selfies in real-time, for example. If you ask to hold a specific item or take a time-stamped image;
  • They do not want to talk on the phone, preferring to make conversations. It might be text-based, saying that their microphone has been damaged;
  • They are not willing to meet in person with you;
  • They’ll ask for money.
  • They can’t keep their stories or their facts up to date as well as
  • They are generally like they’re too for an excellent thing to be confirmed.

If you’re looking to purchase or sell a home or business in London, The best law firms with the best teams of attorneys are Immigration solicitors in London.


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