What to Do If You Need to Report Snapchat Blackmail

Jun 12, 2024 | Fraud | 0 comments

Snapchat is a widely-used social media app where messages and media can disappear after being viewed. Yet, this feature, originally designed to promoted privacy, is now being exploited for an overwhelming practice: Snapchat blackmail. 

Recent data shows that a massive 79% of sextortion incidents occur on platforms like Snapchat, making it a dangerous application for the safety of its users. Therefore, it is important to know how to act and report Snapchat blackmail when faced with these types of threats. Learn more below!

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What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app that allows users to send videos, images, and messages that disappear within 24 hours. The temporary nature of it has helped maintain its popularity, especially among younger users.

The app’s wide collection of filters, key to its success, makes Snapchat a unique social network that offers varied communication for its 422 million daily active users worldwide as of 2024. This variety has grown its use beyond just chatting with friends and family.

a close-up view of the Snapchat app open on a tablet or a smartphone

What is Snapchat Blackmail?

Snapchat blackmail is the use of private or sensitive content shared over Snapchat to extort or intimidate someone. Usually, the blackmailer demands money, personal information, or other favors, threatening to release the content publicly or to specific people if their demands aren’t met. 

How Does Snapchat Blackmail Work?

Snapchat blackmail typically follows a series of steps. Here’s how it usually works:

  • Step 1: The process begins when a user shares something private or sensitive, such as a photo or message, with another user on Snapchat, believing it to be safe due to the temporary nature of the platform.
  • Step 2: However, if the recipient takes a screenshot or finds another method to save the content, the situation can change.
  • Step 3: The receiver of the message may then demand money or more compromising information from the original sender under the threat of releasing the saved content publicly or to specific people.

Imagine someone sending a personal image to a friend. If their relationship turns bad, the friend might threaten to share this image with others or post it online unless they receive a payment or some form of favor. This situation highlights the risks of sharing private information, even with people you trust.

Check out this article to learn about: How Your Information Is Stolen and Shared Online.

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What to  Do If You’re Being Blackmailed on Snapchat?

If you find yourself a target of Snapchat blackmail, take quick and strategic action to protect your privacy and well-being. Here are some steps you need toconsider:

1. Deal with the Blackmailer Carefully

Deal with the blackmailer only to gather evidence or under the guidance of law enforcement. Avoid making payments or agreeing to their demands, as this can lead to further extortion. Delay responses when possible to give yourself more time to seek help and carefully consider your next steps.

2. Double-Up Your Digital Security

Set up your privacy settings on Snapchat by making sure only friends can contact you and view your stories. Regularly check your friends list and remove unknown or suspicious users. Additionally, enable two-factor authentication on your Snapchat account and any other linked accounts, like your email, to keep your personal information extra safe.

3. Keep a Record of All Communications

You can save messages by pressing and holding the message until it says ‘Saved’. Also, take screenshots of all communications; although senders are notified of screenshots, having a record proves the extortion attempt. If possible, use another device to photograph the screen and get additional documentation without alerting the blackmailer.

4. Open Up to Trusted People

Blackmail can be an unpleasant experience, but you don’t have to handle it alone. Talk to a friend, family member, or professional who can give support and advice. They can offer a different perspective on your situation, help you make informed decisions, and offer emotional support.

5. Alert the Authorities  

Report the incident to local law enforcement and consider contacting national agencies like the FBI if you’re in the United States, especially if the blackmail threatens your safety or large sums of money.

Take a look at this article to learn how other platforms are dealing with scams and threats: What Is WhatsApp Doing Against Scam Groups.

a smartphone displaying the Snapchat app icon on its screen

How to Report Snapchat Blackmail?

Dealing with blackmail on Snapchat can be an incredibly stressful and scary experience. But you can act quickly to protect yourself and stop the scammer’s actions by following these steps: 

1. Report Snapchat User

  • Visit the profile of the user you intend to report.
  • Click on the three dots located at the top of their profile.
  • Select ‘Report’ and follow the prompts to choose the reason for reporting, then tap ‘Submit
  • Before reporting, make sure to save or screenshot any incriminating messages or content. This can be used as proof for both Snapchat and law enforcement.

Once you’ve submitted a report, Snapchat’s team will review the account. This process can take up to 24 hours, so be patient and avoid interacting with the blackmailer during this period if possible. Snapchat may take actions such as warning, suspending, or permanently banning the reported account based on the severity of the offense.

2. Report to Authorities

  • Contact Local Law Enforcement: Report the blackmail to your local police department. Give them all the information and evidence you have collected.
  • File a Report with the FBI: In the United States, you can report internet crimes, including extortion, to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). This can be done online, and it’s needed for addressing severe cases of blackmail.

Read this article to learn about How Reporting Could Be the Best Way to Help Others.

Security Update for Snapchat Users Facing Blackmail Threats

Snapchat users face increasing threats as private images become blackmail tools. A recent case of this threat caught the attention of authorities, calling on Snapchat users to remain alert. .

Nottinghamshire Police Issue Warning Over Snapchat Blackmail Scams

According to the Nottinghamshire Post, the local police  have issued a warning to Snapchat users following a rise in account compromises. The incidents are often related to private images being used for blackmail, primarily targeting children and young adults. Here’s a breakdown of the situation:

Key Points

  • Common Security Breaches: Many incidents have been reported when scammers access accounts by guessing passwords or when victims inadvertently log in on a friend’s device. For example, in several cases, people exploited the ‘My Eyes Only’ feature to access and steal private images.
  • Rise in Organized Cybercrime: Cybercrime experts claims there’s an alarming increase in attacks by organized cybercriminals, who threaten to release private images unless a payment is made. Victims aged 20 to 40 have been particularly targeted.

Police Response and Advice

  • Improved Security Measures: In response, Nottinghamshire Police recommend several preventive measures. These include using unique, strong passwords for each account, enabling two-step verification, and keeping personal information up-to-date.
  • Best Practices for Users: Authorities strongly advise against sharing private images through social media platforms. They also caution against sharing login credentials or logging into personal accounts on devices owned by others.

Report Snapchat Blackmail: Confronting Hidden Risks

The convenience and immediacy of modern social media platforms can sometimes hide the critical need for digital security. While these apps offer run innovative ways to connect and share with others, they also bringvulnerabilities that can be exploited. 

As blackmail on Snapchat becomes more common, it’s increasingly important to stay mindful of your online interactions and the content you share. Reporting Snapchat blackmail to the platform and, if necessary, to the police is crucial for protecting yourself and helps prevent such incidents from happening to others.  

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FAQs About Report Snapchat Blackmail

How To Stop Blackmail on Snapchat?

The best way to permanently stop Snapchat blackmail is to report the incident to law enforcement and cybersecurity experts. These professionals have the necessary skills and resources to address such crimes, helping to stop ongoing abuse and make sure those involved face consequences. 

Can Snapchat Restore My Account If It’s Been Compromised by a Blackmailer?

Yes, Snapchat can help restore your account if it has been compromised. Contact Snapchat Support and give details like your username and when you lost access, but never share your password or My Eyes Only passcode.

How to Know if Your Account May Be Hacked?

To know if your Snapchat account may be hacked, look for the following signs:

  • Alerts for logins from unknown locations or devices.
  • Frequent, unexplained logouts.
  • Unknown contacts were added to your list without your knowledge.
  • Unauthorized changes to the email or mobile number linked to your account.
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