What are my options?

Keep a record

Take screenshots of any messages you receive.  These can be used to support you to report the blackmail or threats and to use as evidence if needed.

Report what is happening to Netsafe

Threatening someone or trying to blackmail them can be an offence under the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

This means it could be against the law.

Especially if it is causing you ‘serious emotional distress’ or harm.

You can contact Netsafe to get support.  They have a trained team who are available by phone or by submitting an online form (or email) that can take steps to deal with the situation in a range of ways.

They can let you know whether what is happening to you breaks the law and support you to contact the police.

They can also provide information about other things you can do if it is not against the law.


Report to the Platform and Block the sender

Take screenshots of the messages and use these (or even links to the messages) to report what is happening directly to Social Media Platforms.

To find out how to do this, click on the links below.

Understand that you may feel a range of emotions

It is completely normal to feel worried, embarrassed, anxious or scared about talking to your friends or family about what is going on.

Sometimes you might think that it will be easier to keep things to yourself (especially if the person is threatening to hurt people close to you or share personal or embarrassing information with them).

Choosing someone that you trust to confide in means that you can have someone who can be there for you.  They can see things objectively and think about things you can do.

Try not to beat yourself up or feel like you have ‘brought this on yourself’.  We all make mistakes but this does not give someone else the right to manipulate, threaten or blackmail you.


Keep in mind that they are unlikely to stop, even if you do what they ask

It is really unusual for the person to stop after you have done what they have asked.

Usually, doing this shows them that they have power over you and they will often continue to blackmail or threaten you to get more and push for whatever they can out of you.

A lot of the time they will still go through with their threat, even if you do as they ask.