The Schillings approach to counter-extortion and blackmail operations

Financial success and worldwide public exposure can force individuals, families and companies into the spotlight.   Readily available online databases, digital profiles and social media exacerbate this exposure.   This access to intrusive information is compounded by various sinister tools like AI technology that can generate deep fake imagery and synthetic media.

The plethora of available information can be utilised by criminal gangs and hostile actors to quickly identify, assess and track potential victims, putting them at risk of blackmail and extortion.  These are crimes where money or something similar is demanded, with a form of coercion or menace – for example using intimidation, or threatening to release information to cause the victim harm, unless something is paid to stop it.  

Blackmail and extortion are growing threats that can have a profound impact on victims and the people around them.  It can involve days, months, and sometimes years of severe stress and fear. and lead to a tremendous toll, emotionally and financially.   Being a victim of blackmail and extortion is a serious high stakes situation.

The good news is that Schillings has considerable experience of these situations and expertise in handling them.  We are on the end of the phone when the worst happens, and a client is approached by a blackmailer or a person intent on extortion.  Our expert multidisciplinary teams empathetically hold the client’s hand through the problem.  Usually, we seek to find out who is behind the crime, locate them and bring a solution to bear to make the threat go away.  

If you face this situation, other than calling us in confidence, there are just two things to remember.  Firstly, unless there is a threat to life, resist making concessions:  simultaneously ensure that you have secured yourself, your family and your assets. Secondly, do not delete anything that could be used as evidence against or will identify the attackers or help to identify them.

In high stakes situations like blackmail and extortion, a responsive multidisciplinary approach, handled with empathy, nuance and fine judgment, is what separates Schillings from the others you might call.

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