The Different Ways People Can Experience Being Blackmailed

Last Updated on September 1, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team

Some people use blackmail as a form of extortion or to accomplish goals. The behavior is usually considered inappropriate and might be criminal.

When someone uses blackmail, it is a clear attempt to induce the victim to give in to the demands of the blackmailer or to make the victim do something that is against his/her better judgment. 

The different ways people can experience being blackmailed

If a person engages in blackmail, he or she is in fact committing a crime. Blackmail is something which may seem harmless in certain situations but can become very dangerous and harmful to individuals who are subject to it. 

What Is Extortion? 

Extortion is a form of blackmail. It is the act of obtaining goods or services by inducing the victim to believe that an individual is physically or emotionally capable of causing the victim to suffer harm.

It is the act of obtaining something, usually money, by threatening to cause a negative effect on the victim if a certain demand is not met. This is not something that is uncommon across the globe and isn’t something that will usually only happen once. It can go on for years. 

What Is Coercion? 

Coercion is the process of using force to obtain compliance. It can be physical or psychological, and it can be used by anyone. Coercion can be seen as a form of abuse that is also quite a common type of blackmail. 

Coercion is a form of social control involving the threat or use of physical force, intimidation, or psychological pressure to induce compliance with the wishes of the coercer. 

It is all about having the power in a situation where the coercer is able to control the situation by playing with emotion or physical fear.

It tends to be people with secrets that are usually coerced into doing something illegal for someone else because of what they know. They will not get anything for doing crimes for the other person, only their silence. 

Commercial Pressure 

This is more about business blackmail, people that can be targeted because of their illegal actions in the business industry.

They are easy targets because they would be worried about their brands appearance and their company being at stake if any negative information was to leak. 

This is more common in business scenarios because there is always money that is given for blackmail in order to keep a harmful secret being revealed. 

It is mainly extortion which is the main type of blackmail that would be used because people want money for their silence. However, coercion can also come into it as well. 

An example of this type of business blackmail would be an employee demanding better pay in order for them to keep quiet about something they know which could harm the company. 


Sextortion is a relatively new form of cyberbullying. It is different from other forms of bullying because extortionists first use the victim’s own sexual material to blackmail them.

This is a crime because it is luring people to what they think is something intimate and real when in fact they only want the sexual material they have gathered from them to use as blackmail to get things from them. 

Due to online relationships increasing over the past ten years, people fall for this very easily because everyone uses social media and it is an easy trap.

They usually act as someone who is quite far away and someone who is in need of favors or money which the victim is usually willing to do for this person they have come to like. 

Other Online Blackmail 

Due to the introduction of the online world, it has become much easier to blackmail people without actually having to show your face. Here are a few examples of online blackmail.


Ransomware is a malicious software which locks user’s files and makes them inaccessible. In order to regain access to the locked files, the user has to pay a ransom. 

Cyber-criminals earn money by ensuring that the infected users pay the ransom in order to regain access to their files.


Defamation is a criminal offense and can result in severe penalties if the victim suffers loss of earnings. It is an offense to say or write anything that damages a person’s reputation.

Defamation is the act of damaging someone’s reputation which can cause their company to become at risk. It is a crime in England and Wales and other common law countries.

Proprietary Information Release

This is a blackmail scam in which the victim receives files, in a very threatening manner, that they have supposedly posted to their own website.

information release blackmail is a psychological trick used by charlatans to convince people to pay for information release.

The different ways people can experience being blackmailed (2)

Strategies Used For Emotional Blackmail 

There are several ways that people are able to use your emotions and other strategies against you to agree to their blackmail terms.

People think that the only way to protect themselves is to adhere to the conditions because these strategies make them feel like they have no other choice. 


Fear is something that can work both ways. It can protect us in situations because we use our natural responses to fear to protect us. However, this also means that other people are able to use the fear we have inside as a negative tool to make someone do something. 

People also use the fear of not knowing the situation or the person as their main tool. The fear of what is unknown can be really scary for a lot of people because they do not know who is doing this to them and trying to blackmail them. 

You can also fear the idea of being physically hurt or abandoned or held somewhere. These are all areas of fear that people are able to use as a tool of blackmail. 


It can be very simple to make someone feel guilty about something that maybe they shouldn’t. It is linked to how they react and are triggered to certain things a person might say to them or they may feel as though they have not committed to the obligations they should have. 

When blackmailing someone, guilt is used very often because the blackmailer is looking to break this person down so they are able to have control over them and their decisions.

Many people can be made to feel guilty for spending too much, going out too much, not being there for someone enough and the list goes on.

Emotional Blackmail Types 

There are a few different types of labels that are given to people who emotionally blackmail and here are a few explained. 


People can also use their own emotions to manipulate how the other person ends up feeling. They use fear against what they might do to themselves to try and control the reaction of the real victim. 

This is a way to make the person suffer to think that they have caused the manipulator to act this way. Guilt is another big factor in this process of emotional blackmail because when someone feels guilty about something, they are more likely to do what you want. 

A common example of this is in relationships where people will make threats of killing themselves if their partner leaves them. This causes fear for their partner and will make them stay. It will also make them feel guilty for putting them in this frame of mind. 


The sufferer is someone who will try and make their frame of mind their partners/friends’ fault. They will hold whatever misery or problem they have over the head of the person they want control over. 

People who are close to you do not want you to suffer which is the tactic that is used in this scenario. Therefore, the sufferer knows this and uses it to make them do what they want, even though they might not want the same things. It is emotional abuse. 

The Carrot 

This one is a very different method to all of the others because it is a strategy where promises might be made or rewards that are never followed through on. 

You might see in many relationships that there is one person that is almost afraid to say no to something because they are fearful of what the response might be. This is a form of control from the other partner.

Most manipulators will use all of these at one point and definitely a mixture of the different strategies to accomplish what they want. Emotional abuse is very common and affects many people in friendships/relationships/work groups. 

People learn how they can push the buttons of people they know because they understand how they work and what will make them feel guilty or feel fear. 


Overall, blackmail is something that everyone knows about and have probably seen from time to time over their lifetime.

It is not always in business situations, it can happen in everyday life and can be less harmful in some cases than others. However, it is the type of act that can turn into something dangerous. 

The different types of blackmail spread across different situations but can also overlap one another where more than one is used at once.

In your lifetime, you might have to deal with someone trying to blackmail you over something they know about you that you do not want to get out and the best way to deal with this is to report it. Blackmail is a crime in the eyes of the law. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Emotional Blackmail Look Like?

We all know what emotional blackmail is. It’s when someone uses their power to get you to do or say something you wouldn’t normally do or say. If you think you’ve been emotionally blackmailed, you don’t have to be afraid.

What would you do if someone you loved was emotionally blackmailing you? You would feel angry, attacked and confused. You would want to take action. It can be quite difficult to handle and also escape.