How did you blackmail someone?

Blackmail: The victim's enrichment

The History of extortion is almost as old as humanity itself. Because where it is capital there is always there Resentment and the desire to procure material and financial goods.

In ancient Athens, the so-called Sycophants their Living with blackmail. They threatened other citizens with publicly discrediting them by providing false information.

Even more than 2000 years later, many criminals get rich through blackmail. Typical examples are Redemption or protection money payments.

Get answers to the questions in the following guide: What is blackmail and what to do in the event of blackmail? Learn what a predatory extortion distinguishes and whether a emotional blackmail is punishable.

FAQ: Blackmail

What is blackmail?

Here you can read how extortion is defined in Germany.

How is blackmail punished?

According to German criminal law, extortion is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years or a fine.

What does emotional blackmail mean?

You can read here when it is an emotional blackmail that is not punishable.

The blackmail: that's what the law says

The Duden defines a blackmail as one Advancementaccompanied by threats or acts of violence. So here's the one negative connotation clear, which can be substantiated by a look at the German law.

As part of criminal law, the penal code regulates what defines extortion and what punishment is assigned to it. The corresponding paragraph can be found in Section 20, which contains the Robbery and extortion offenses includes. The blackmail is described in Section 253 of the Criminal Code and there it says in the first paragraph:

Anyone who unlawfully coerces a person to an act, toleration or omission by means of violence or threats with a sensitive evil and thereby harms the property of the coerced or someone else in order to unjustly enrich himself or a third party will face a prison sentence of up to five years or fined.

If this legal text is transferred from the Blackmail into a scheme, it looks like this:

  • (A) Offense: Coercion
  • (B) Means of crime: violence OR threat of a sensitive evil
  • (C) Coercion or crime success: action OR toleration OR omission (Attention: the coercive must have a coercive effect)
  • (D) Successful act: financial disadvantage
  • (E) subjective side: intent and intention to enrich
  • (F) Illegality
  • (G) guilt
  • (H) if applicable, qualification of § 255 StGB (predatory extortion)

The extortion paragraph in detail

The focus of the blackmail are the three key terms Coercion, violence and threats.

A coercion lies with one compulsory imposition of a behavior which the free will resolution opposes the person concerned.

That is, the victim is so blackmailed by coercion that it no longer decide freely can, but rather than Tool from the blackmailer acts. So this is about them Freedom of action, while kidnapping or deprivation of liberty protects freedom of movement.

violence is always present when the victim has a Coercion perceives. Both a physical development of strength accepted as well as other physical influences. Violence can also be by means of psychological compulsion respectively.

Violence also differentiates between two special forms: vis absoluta and vis compulsiva. The former is direct, direct violence, for example when someone is grabbed and dragged along. The latter describes a will-bending form, the indirectly acts on the victim. This is the case when a perpetrator threatens a person with a weapon and thus forces them to surrender money.

A threat recruits Put in promising a sensitive one Evil The threatening person only has to pretend to have an influence on the evil. It is crucial that the victim die Takes threat seriouslySo it is irrelevant whether the threatened evil is feasible at all, as long as the victim assumes that it is possible.

The threat differs from violence through the Time delay. A threat holds out the prospect of evil (future), violence is an evil or coercion (presence).

In addition to these elements is also that Property or the property loss defining the blackmail. Because in criminal law an extortion is by definition the coercion of another by a Striving for enrichment will be carried. The aim of the action is Disclosure of third-party assets. So it is a Asset shift offensebecause certain values ​​are shifted from one person to another.

Fraud (Section 269 of the Criminal Code) is also about unlawful acquisition of pecuniary advantages, but there is a significant difference between the two criminal offenses. In the blackmail the occurrence of the pecuniary loss of another by coercion caused an act, toleration or omission. At the Scamthe financial loss is a direct consequence of a Disposal of assetsthat through a illusion is done.

Typical of the extortion contained in Section 253 of the Criminal Code is the associated one Free purchase character. The victim pays for through the performance imposed on him Termination of the coercive effect. It also buys the future freedom of compulsion or the concrete Avoidance of damage.

In doing this, the victim can make it happen even punishable makes. An example of this would be the Protection money payment to finance criminal organizations. However, they may then be considered Grounds of excuse or justificationso that there is no conviction of the actual victim.

The compelled acts here not of one's own free will. Because in the blackmail one takes place Attack on personal freedom of choice of blackmail instead. This is a prerequisite for the violation of third-party property that it enables.

Attention, in addition to the flexing of will, another feature is important for the fulfillment of the extortion penalty: The compulsory must himself the Property-damaging measure To run.

The blackmail is therefore also one of the Self-harm offenses, since the coercive person carries out the act of property damage himself. Yes, though Compelled and disposable must be one and the same person, no personal congruence between What is compelled and what is harmed are present.

The blackmailed person can, for example, through a special closeness be able to dispose of the assets of a third party.

The blackmailer has to deliberately and in the intention act to enrich yourself. In addition, a Material equality exist between the harm to the victim and the benefit to the perpetrator. That is, an action must have caused both consequences. The damage must be the Downside be of advantage.

Such Material equality is to be answered in the negative if unauthorized objects as pledge be taken into custody to induce the person to pay outstanding debts. Here the damage does not have the benefit of the pledgee.

After all, only then pulls blackmail criminal consequences after himself if the culprit illegal and culpable acted.

For this purpose, the law takes a Concretization in Section 253 (2) of the Criminal Code:

The act is unlawful if the use of force or the threat of evil for the intended purpose is to be regarded as reprehensible.

The aspect of Reprehensibility is particularly noteworthy. This feeds off socio-ethical morals and marks a heightened level of moral disapproval. The so-called Means-end relationship. If this can be assessed as socially intolerable, it must also be viewed as reprehensible.

The act is therefore always illegal if the means used in no proportion stood for the intended purpose. This is the case, for example, when the Publication of insulting and dishonorable representations threatened even if the content of this communication is true. One is just as illegal Threat of legal action without justified claim.

However, it is possible Compensation to demand under threat of a complaint. It is also permitted to use the Contractual partner to threaten in order to assert the rights from the contractual relationship. An employee who goes to Request a wage increase threatens to terminate, also does not constitute an act of extortion.

The perpetrator does not know that he is one Claim to the benefit sought then there may be a tried blackmail in front. But this is also punishable by law.

§ 255 StGB represents a qualification of extortion. While § 253 StGB arises Violence against things refers, constitutes the fact of the predatory blackmail Violent acts against persons under penalty.

The penalty for extortion is one Liberty Street up to five years or one Fine. This is regulated in the first paragraph of Section 253 in the Criminal Code. However, blackmail can also be one higher penalties entail if a particularly severe case is present. Then the perpetrator faces a prison sentence of no less than a year. Such a difficult form is found in commercial or gang inspection Application.

A case study of blackmail:
Perpetrator T steals a valuable painting from owner B. However, due to the popularity of the work, this is difficult to sell on the black market. Therefore, T threatens B that he will never see the picture again if he does not 20,000 euros in exchange for the painting pay. So B pays that ransom and get his work of art back. The previous announcement by T to withdraw the painting from B represents a threat with a sensitive evil. B felt compelled to pay the ransom and thus complied with one financial damage to who at the same time the Pecuniary advantage of the perpetrator (material equality).

Blackmail: what to do?

“I am being blackmailed”, this realization hits many a victim quite suddenly and often goes with a good portion Overwhelming hand in hand. The most important thing in such a case is to act.

It is primarily about the Enforcement of your own rights and the reparation for the damage suffered. But also with regard to the Criminal Prevention and to encouragement other victims, you should seek help with extortion.

Are extortions no petty offensesthat can be overlooked. They are crimes that harm other people. This is why you should always get blackmail Show. Nowadays in particular, you can quickly become a victim of such an act.

Because meanwhile it is Blackmail on the Internet common practice. For example, this is how cybercriminals use intimate picturesto put pressure on users and ask for cash payments.

Another scam of internet blackmail is this Sending virusesallegedly linking the computer owner with child pornography, terrorist groups or copyright infringement. Here, too, a monetary payment is requested in order to receive a release code to unlock the computer.

Consult one Lawyer, with whom you file the complaint of extortion together. The Statute of limitations is five years, but you shouldn't let as many years go by as the Psychological distress thereby only grows even more. In addition, evidence gathering can become more difficult over time.

Emotional blackmail

In addition to extortion, which is relevant under criminal law, there is also another form that is no less burdensome for the victim. What is meant is that mental blackmail in the relationship or in the family.

Sometimes this variant is also called small blackmail referred to because they not an independent crime represents, but can at best be a means of legally regulated blackmail. However, you should not tolerate psychological blackmail either.

Fall under emotional blackmail manipulative strategieswho have favourited massive Feelings of guilt to wake up the other person.

Through the psychological influence of the other, there is also one here External control instead of adding a Forced feelings that are not required or actually lack a cause.

Often this extortion comes in Relationships for example, when one partner accuses the other of not investing enough in the partnership or of not loving the other. Also in family structures Emotional blackmail takes place when a mother ties her love to conditions that the child must meet. One is also possible constant comparison to other peopleagainst which the emotionally blackmailed victim has to measure himself.

The Consequences of such influences often show up years later, in lack of self-esteem or the inability to build bonds. Here, too, it is important, among other things help from a psychologist in order to be able to end the mental abuse and to be able to live again carefree and free from external influences.
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Blackmail: The victim's enrichment
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