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The crime involving a threat for purposes of compelling a person to do an act against his or her will, or for purposes of taking the person's money or property.

The term blackmail originally denoted a payment made by English persons residing along the border of Scotland to influential Scottish chieftains in exchange for protection from thieves and marauders.

In blackmail the threat might consist of physical injury to the threatened person or to someone loved by that person, or injury to a person's reputation. In some cases the victim is told that an illegal act he or she had previously committed will be exposed if the victim fails to comply with the demand.

Although blackmail is generally synonymous with Extortion, some states distinguish the offenses by requiring that the former be in writing.

Blackmail is punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.




n. the crime of threatening to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging facts (or rumors) about a person to the public, family, spouse or associates unless paid off to not carry out the threat. It is one form of extortion (which may include other threats such as physical harm or damage to property). (See: extortion)


noun exaction, extortion, hush money, illegal compulsion, oppressive exaction, protection, ransom, shakedown, taking by undue exercise of power
See also: coercion, compel, extort, extortion, graft, hush money, threaten


in English law, a person is guilty of blackmail if, with a view to gain for himself or another or with intent to cause loss to another, he makes any unwarranted demand with menaces and for this purpose menaces are unwarranted unless the person making it does so in the belief that he had reasonable grounds for making the demand and that the use of menaces is a proper means of reinforcing the demand. For Scotland, see EXTORTION.
References in periodicals archive ?
Targeting cyber blackmailing victims of all ages, a two-week campaign commenced on Tuesday with the title, "Report, and your secret will be kept in a well" to encourage them to approach authorities through the hotline 24166828 or by emailing ocert999@ita.
They were charged with blackmailing a "male" and were both remanded in custody.
Driza was cleared of blackmailing Judge Khan, with whom she was living up until her arrest.
an organization devoted to ferreting out embarrassing (or worse) information on people and then blackmailing them to have it kept quiet.
70) By this contrary hypothesis, the net effect of blackmail on criticism would depend on the sum of two offsetting effects: (1) legalization would increase the expected cost of violating norms and therefore increase the benefit of reforming inefficient norms; and (2) legalization would create expected profits from blackmailing norm violators and therefore create costs to reforming even inefficient norms.
Later, the accused started blackmailing her and also forcibly raped her.
Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) [India], Feb 7 ( ANI ): The alleged rape victim, who was shut behind the bars for allegedly blackmailing and extorting money from Congress MLA Hemant Katare, made shocking revelations on Wednesday after getting released on bail.
According to sources, Usman was blackmailing the girl by threatening to post her pictures online and extorted huge amount of money and jewellery from the victim.
The head of Oelmek Demetris Taliadoros, speaking on state radio yesterday morning, had the nerve to claim that Poed had secured many more teaching positions for primary schools by blackmailing the education minister.
NOWSHERA -- Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) raided a computer shop in Lal-Kurti market of the district, shopkeeper who manage to escape from scene was allegedly involved in blackmailing peoples through fake Face book IDs.
Thiruvananthapuram: Two women are hogging the headlines in Kerala after allegedly blackmailing high-profile people using videos taken of them in compromising positions.