Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Blackmail for Dummies

Sometimes life is just so bizarre that it's hard to know whether I should laugh or cry.

Over the last fourteen days, I have been the subject of an attempted blackmail. Somebody I have known for a few years has decided that, rather than working, they should simply sit back and wait for me to hand over all of my money, by making a series of threats.

Has it been frightening? No. Worrying? Try again. Disconcerting? Nope, that ain't it either.

Try - Amusing. Hilarious. Comical.

Of course, there is a serious side to it all, and I have had excellent support from my local policeman. But this blackmailer has done such an awful job of trying to get money out of me, that I feel it is my duty, as an international aid worker, to make a few suggestions.

So here it is: Blackmail for Dummies.

Tip 1: When blackmailing somebody you know, avoid using your personal email account.

This is especially pertinent when, for example, your name is "John Smith" and your email address is "johnsmith@hotmail.com".

Tip 2: Keep personal information out of your emails.

Remember, the police might be able to use that personal information to track you down. In particular, giving your bank account number is highly likely to give them some clues as to your identity - if they didn't already have enough.

Tip 3: If you really MUST use your personal email account, and you really MUST fill the emails with your personal information, then make sure you do NOT confess to other crimes that you have committed.

If you have been involved in drug dealing and organised crime, for instance, you probably should not mention this. Or go into detail with dates and places. Again - look at this from the point of view of the police!

Tip 4: If you are going to blackmail somebody by threatening to slander them, at least make the accusation something that is illegal.

The ol' blackmail line: "Give me money or I will tell everybody that you..." can be effective, but you have to think in advance how to finish that sentence. Some BAD ideas are:

- "... that you eat too many sausages."

- "... that you wear your underpants for a whole week without washing."

- "... that you didn't send your mother a gift last Christmas."

You see, these are all bad things, but, to be frank, none of them is actually illegal. So I'm not going to send you any money to avoid you telling people this kind of thing, am I?

Tip 5: And this is an important one - when you embark on a career in blackmailing, choose victims who have money. As a general rule of thumb, the Director of Blue Dragon Children's Foundation usually has to borrow money at the end of the month in order to eat. Therefore, he is not a wise target.

Perhaps I should add another tip about "don't try to blackmail people who enjoy blogging."


Mosher said...

Ouch. Set Van on him. After 2 extra days in Saigon, I'm sure he'll be itchign for a punchup.

Actually, knowing Van - send Tran...

Kathy said...

Its healthy to have a good laugh!
But a shame to waste your time,

megan said...

Thanks for posting. I know how to blackmail more effectively now!