THREATS AND BLACKMAİL CRİMES THROUGH THE INTERNET
With the increasing use of the internet every day, an increase in the ratio of threat and blackmail crime through the internet has also been observed. While these crimes were being processed by letter or telephone in the past, it has now become possible for these crimes to be processed via the internet as a result of the development of information technologies. We can say that threats and blackmail crimes have been committed especially through Facebook, Skype and WhatsApp.
Threats and blackmailing crimes are handled via the Internet by creating fake profiles in social media accounts, recording Skype footage or typing over WhatsApp. We can say that although the developing technology has some benefits, it also causes others to be victimized in the case of malicious people get it while looking in terms of committed crimes. Because, people can hide their identities much easily with the development of this technology or they can record images without knowing of the other side. This situation is turned into an advantage in terms of malicious persons. Both threat and blackmail crimes have been organized in the Turkish Penal Code. If threats and blackmail crimes are committed via the internet, offenders will be punished in accordance with the provisions of the Turkish Criminal Code. We will handle what the provisions and the penalties being talked about are in detail in the progressive sections of our article.
Definition of blackmail crime by means of internet (via Skype, WhatsApp and Webcam)
Blackmail has been defined as a crime that constitutes a special form of forcing anyone to do or not do something in the 107th and related articles of the Turkish Penal Code. In the relevant article, ‘’The person who force someone to do something contrary to the law, to do or do not something that he/she is not obliged to or to try to establish an unfair advantage is punished by a penalty of one to three years imprisonment and five thousand days with the mention that he/she is right and able to do or do not do something that he/she is liable’’. In the event that a person is found to be liable to disclose or impose characteristics that would harm the reputation of the honor in order to benefit him/her or another, he shall be punished according to the first paragraph. The source of this substance added to the Turkish Criminal Code is 10th paragraph of 312th article of the French Criminal Code.
In fact, blackmail is a special case of criminality of threat. The legislator has regulated the offense of threat committed in certain forms as blackmail crime. One of the topics that we are talking about with care is blackmail via internet. One of the most controversial topics that we expose as IT (information technology) lawyer is blackmail via Skype, Webcam, WhatsApp and Video record. Blackmail is a crime occurred by requesting money from the victims with the threat that their inappropriate images will be put on internet sites (Usually video-sharing sites like YouTube) as a result of which people are invited to join web sites that have activities like live chat, chat and friendship or being trapped after correspondence with each other.
Things to be aware of in order not to be exposed to threats and blackmail through the internet
There are some duties for people in order not to be a victim of threats and blackmail through internet. If people are careful, they will minimize the possibility of being victims of the threats and blackmail offenses from the Internet. At first, attempts like meeting, friendship or similar suspicious contacts should not be accepted from people who are not known. At the same time, webcam chat should not be done with any unknown people and photos should not be sent to them.
It is important to remember that images and sounds can be recorded on Skype and be careful when talking and giving images. At the same time, one of the mistakes many people make is to give detailed information about private and business life. It is not possible to trust immediately to someone who has recently met. For this reason, information about private life should not be given immediately to people who are met on the internet. However, the most important thing to be considered is that everyone can create a fake profile on the internet as they wish. In other words, the person who sends the add request or who is trying to contact may not be the person actually on the profile.
Things to be aware of in order not to be exposed to threats and blackmail through the internet
Therefore, people should act cautiously and avoid such contacts. If there are still the victims of threats and blackmail offenses through the internet despite any precaution, all evidence should be tried to be collected about the perpetrator. For this, the handwritten information, profile information, screenshots, photos etc should be kept. It must immediately be consulted to an information attorney specialist in the field with the collected evidence and a legal process must be initiated to remove the existing threat or blackmail.
In computer society, most human relations are now reduced to the internet environment. In virtual environments, people can embrace quite different personalities and even create a new life in a sense to them. Likewise, it is inevitable that criminals or malicious people try to take advantage of the internet. In this direction, threats and blackmail via the internet have become very prevalent.
If real crimes are transferred to this virtual world on the internet environment, necessary sanctions and punishments are applied by being evaluated as IT crimes. According to the Laws, there are practices of imprisonment or criminal fine in the cases like a person is threatened, being suffered an affront or blackmailed by the internet environment for any reason. If this kind of victimization is experienced, the evidence must be kept hidden and presented to the prosecutor and waited for the required to be done. In some cases, even if those who implement threats or blackmail by using fake profiles to do these, their true identity can be identified in a short period of time by using IP-based locating applications.
As practices such as threatening and blackmailing to anyone in normal life are considered as crimes so threat and blackmail offenses via internet are assessed in the same way. In the event of being a victim of threat or blackmail in a virtual environment, it will be the smartest way to prosecute criminals without being too concerned with the people who do it. At the same time, consultation with a specialist lawyer in this regard, getting of information and support will avoid victimizations that can occur. Because the blackmail lawyer is exceedingly dominant to the law and past decisions, and have a more effective evidence presentation and defense by considering the issue more broadly.
Is your ex-girlfriend doing blackmail ?
It is seen that threats and blackmailing actions on the Internet generally develop within the framework of love affairs. Through the media, which are called social media, people can establish heart relations even without knowing each other and deceive their counterparts by creating false personalities. Even though threats and blackmail via the Internet are often carried out by people who are trying to hide themselves, they are realized more obviously in some cases. The use of blackmail and threats by one of the parties as a result of dialogues and disagreements with the ex-girlfriend/boyfriend can be shown as an example for this. In such a case, the identification of the offender will facilitate the lawsuit process. The important thing is that hiding image, voice and correspondence, which are the subjects of complaint, and presenting them to the relevant authorities during the criminal complaint. The imprisonment or criminal penalty sanction will be applied according to the size of the blackmail and the threat and the damage they had on victim.
Blackmail and Threat via Skype, Webcam or Whatsapp
(Sextortion scams) Also, the same provisions will be valid if there is blackmail and threats through frequently used applications and web sites on the Internet. Of course, it will be taken into account that the party that appears to be the victim of this crime has committed a fault that will cause it or not. The threat is likely to be made not only to the person but also to the loved ones. Threats and blackmail harm the spiritual side of exposed ones in whatever form they are. In fact, some blackmailing actions can indirectly lead someone to suffer from financial loss. Especially when it is thought that the information spreads rapidly in the internet environment, the scandalous blackmailing practices to someone by news that is defamatory, humiliating or calumny will put the person in a difficult situation both in family and business environment. In the case of the existence of such a situation, the type and severity of the penalties to be imposed on the criminal party may also increase. Employing a good lawyer, hiding of evidence and making a criminal complaint immediately are the rules that should not be forgotten when being exposed to threats and blackmail through the Internet.
Offender profile of blackmailing via internet
As seen in the blackmail cases we encountered as Topo law firm, the perpetrators usually come from countries like Morocco, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, but the number of cases found in Turkey is too high to be underestimated. While choosing the people they want to entrap, offenders firstly get all the contact information they can get from social networks like Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and then reach the victims of blackmail from the internet with a possible communication channel. The blackmailing crime on the internet, which is usually committed against individuals who are in good financial situation, is sometimes committed against anyone falling into the trap regardless of their financial situation. The victims are usually male and if the victim is female, male pictures and names are used in communication and vice versa. (Victims of sextortion)
How is blackmail done from the internet ?
Those who commit the blackmail on the internet are usually professional people. Of course, there are also offenders started to do this action because of financial impossibilities. The perpetrator primarily train victim’s sight on blackmailing and reaches him/her through a social media network or by e-mail. The perpetrator, who is trying to create a confidence in the victim after chats made about current life, is darkening the conversation. When it comes to sexuality, the webcam is opened since it is usually spoken via Skype, and a pre-prepared stripping video is played as if it were launched in reality. The perpetrator also wants the victim to get undressed during the chat. The victim, who thinks that the other person is stripping, is also get undressed in front of the opened camera and starts to do sexual activities.
Shortly afterwards, the perpetrator says he/she has recorded images of the evil spirits and that he/she has detected his/her relatives from social networks such as facebook, twitter, Instagram, and if he/she does not send money to his/her account (Usually a number between $ 500 and $ 30000 is offered) he/she will send these images to his/her relatives. (Sextortion online blackmail)
The Elements of Threat Crime
One of the issues that we need to deal with regarding threats and blackmail via the Internet is the elements of threat crime. Threat crime has been regulated the 106th article of the Turkish Penal Code. According to this, a person who threatens someone with an act of attacking the life, body integrity and sexual immunity of one person or his / her relatives will be punished by the provisions of the Turkish Criminal Code. The threat may be against the person as well as against the property or against him/her. That will be given harm to the legal values, listed in the 106th article, of the victim or the third person to whom offenders are in close proximity or notifying that there will be other harm for them constitutes the material element of the threat offense. The reported damage that will be inflicted in the future should be feasible and therefore should require fear on the victim. Of course, it is not possible for threat to be realized retroactively. The general wrongful intention constitutes the spiritual element of this crime. However, it is possible to process it with a possible intention, and in this case, a deduction in the penalty that will be judged for the perpetrator will be made.
Qualified Cases of Threat Crimes
We should also mention about threats and blackmail via the internet that there are some qualified situations that are counted in the Turkish Penal Code. If one of these qualified cases exists, an increase in penalty that will be judged on the perpetrator will be imposed. We can list the qualified cases as follows: If the threat is committed by means of weapons, by multiple persons, by the person making himself/herself unrecognizable, by signs or by unsigned letters, by the scarier force created by substantial or existing criminal organizations, the perpetrator will be imposed to more severe punishment compare to the basic situation of penalty. Threat and blackmail lawyers..
The Elements of Blackmail Crime
When it comes to threats and blackmail via the Internet, it is possible to see that many people are victims of blackmail in Turkey. The blackmailed crime was regulated in 107th article of the Turkish Penal Code. Accordingly, there are two different forms of blackmail. The material element of the first form that causes the crime to be committed is to force someone to do or not to do something that is contrary to the law or something that he/she is not liable to and force someone in order to make unfair advantage. It is enough for the crime to be taken place that the victim is forced to provide unfair advantage or to do or not do something. At the same time, there is no need for these actions to be realized. The second form of the crime in the second part of 107th article of the Turkish Penal Code is the element that it is said to be revealed. But the thing that is said to be explained must be related to the past. At the same time, it is also necessary that this subject must be a hidden and unknown situation.
This crime is separated from the guilt of the threat in two different ways. While there may be many things about the crime of threat, honor and respect constitutes the issue of crime of blackmail. At the same time, while there is fear in the offense of threat, the purpose here is to provide benefit. While the spiritual element of the first appearance of blackmail is the general caste, special intention forms the second appearance form. The specific caste mentioned here is the caste of providing benefit. Only if it is stated in order to harm the reputation and honor of the victim, the crime of threat will occur in this case. At the same time, we must also mention to whom the benefit is provided does not matter in terms of the formation of a crime. In other words, the perpetrator of the crime can provide benefit for himself/herself or he/she can commit the crime of blackmail for the benefit of a third person. Blackmail crime in turkey
Penalty of threat and blackmail
The spread of threats and blackmail through the Internet has worsened people’s feelings about the penalties to be imposed in the case of these crimes are committed. Punishment of such offenses is regulated in the Turkish Penal Code, and the same penalty will be imposed if the offense is committed on the internet or in different ways. In other words, there will be no criminal discrimination between threats and blackmailing offenses via the internet or the processing of such offenses by phone. Blackmail attorneys
While the offender shall be punished by imprisonment from 6 months up to 2 years in the case of threat is committed, the imprisonment from 2 years up to 5 years will be imposed to the offender in the case of qualified situation of threat is committed. If the offense of blackmail is committed, the offender will be punished with justice for up to five thousand days as he will be sentenced to imprisonment of 1 year to 3 years in both appearances. We should say that the penalties that are being talked about will of course find the practice area in the case of the crime of threat and blackmail is committed through the internet. Therefore, victims of these crimes should initiate legal proceedings in the name of punishment of offender or perpetrators through an informatics lawyer without delay.
Are threat and blackmail crimes subject to the complaint ?
One of the issues we need to address under the threat of blackmail and threats through the Internet is whether these offenses are subject to complaint or not. We must state that the basic state and the quality of criminal offense contained in the 106th article of Turkish Criminal Code are not subject to the complaint. However, the simple state of the threaten offense in the second clause of first paragraph of the 106th article is subject to the complaint. If someone is told to have a threat against their property or if there is any other evil, the imprisonment penalty for up to 6 months or fine will be given offender upon complaint. There is no such a distinction in terms of blackmail. There is no need for complaint condition for the investigation and prosecution of blackmail in any case. Investigation and prosecution shall be made ex officio in case of the blackmail crime is committed. Even if the claimant withdraws his complaint by giving up his case, this case will continue to be seen as a public case. Threat and blackmail in turkey
What should blackmail victims of internet do against blackmail?
What we have to say as an answer to the question of what to do against blackmail is gathered under a very important topic. The blackmail done by the ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or those who have been blackmailed as we have described in detail above should primarily be calm and collect as much data as they can about the perpetrator. If they have sent money, they should hand out their receipts, screenshots of the correspondence and website records to a specialist attorney expert in internet law. Legal action for offenders can be initiated in terms of both national and international legislation. We also have blackmail victim counseling packages on the internet, which are determined according to the events we apply to only blackmail victims on the internet. You can contact us via the following contact information on this subject, and you can leave this subject, which should not be heard by your relatives, to the experts in order for it to be done in the fastest way. Threats and blackmail crimes through internet
You can reach us with the contact link for Legal consultant or your other problems.
Publish Date: December 8, 2015