Blackmailer . . .

This visual consists of just the following text “Alert!” This is written in a bold font in white against a completely black rectangular background. The word ‘alert’ is in continuation of the article headline which simply says “Blackmailer . . .” So read together it reads “Blackmailer alert!” Graphic credit: Pawan Dhall

Advice - Rights and Laws, Jan '17
Prepared by volunteers of Queer Friendly Lawyers Network – West Bengal and Varta Trust in response to a number of requests for legal advice received from victims (almost all male) of gender and sexuality-based blackmail in the last few years

Artwork text: Blackmailer alert: Possible signs to be alert about: He knows about your family, where you stay, where you work, who your friends are, but you have only a phone number or online profile of him; he has your intimate pictures or videos, but doesn’t reciprocate; he pulls at your heart strings with a sob story but pulls away when you ask for the money you lent; he is this unknown character – if you do a check, nobody in community circles seems to know him; he stays away from places and events where a lot of people might see him; he makes homophobic, transphobic or biphobic comments while chatting online or appears to be aggressive in his communication. Indian law no longer penalizes consensual non penile-vaginal sex among adults in private. Section 377, IPC applies to non penile-vaginal sex only if there is force involved. But extortion under all circumstances is punishable (Sections 384, 506). Victims of blackmail should talk about it and report it. QFLN - West Bengal / Varta Trust can provide legal aid support. Forewarned is forearmed and sexy! For more safety tips and where to contact for help, see below. Text is accompanied with a sketch of a man's face with a stricken look and mouth shut, symbolizing the fear of a victim of blackmail. The mouth is covered with a text box that says "For male-to-male online dating". Artwork credit: Pawan Dhall, Rudra Kishore Mandal

Artwork text: Safety tips: If possible, avoid posting a direct picture of your face on dating sites – try using a picture that represents you in a different way like one related to your hobbies or personality; consider meeting only friends of friends – before you meet someone, you could verify that they are known to another trusted friend or are a friend-of-a-friend; first get to know someone better by meeting over Skype or in a safe location, a community-friendly café or any other place 'you' are comfortable with – sharing your home address can be risky; let a friend know where you’re meeting just in case – it’s always a good idea to have people know where you’ve gone; when first meeting someone, take as little with you as you can – don't take your credit or debit cards – just enough cash and a key identity document or two; don’t encourage your date to bring a ‘friend’; when on a date, take your time and pull back whenever you feel it is getting uncomfortable for you; get tested regularly for STIs and HIV – always have conversations with the guys you meet about your safety expectations; for more information and help, write to Confidentiality assured. Compiled by Queer Friendly Lawyers Network / Varta Trust with inputs from Grindr

Text updated after Section 377, Indian Penal Code was read down by the Honourable Supreme Court of India on September 6, 2018 – Editor.

Blackmailer alert artwork credit: Rudra Kishore Mandal and Pawan Dhall

Author Photo

QFLN - West Bengal

Queer Friendly Lawyers Network – West Bengal is a legal advocacy initiative of Varta Trust, Kolkata to bring together lawyers, para-legal workers, teachers and students of law, human rights workers and legal aid agencies to develop an effective response system against the rights violations faced by queer people in West Bengal. QFLN – West Bengal can be contacted at or

Comments So Far

  • Image    05-01-2017 | Reply

    Very much needed! Great work

    • Image guest 22-10-2017

      Its needed lot of fake unsafe guys are in grinder i suffered from them

    • Image Safety is most important 15-10-2017

      Safety is most important

    • Image Bhumit 10-10-2017


    • Image guest 10-10-2017

      Wish the law becomes more stringent on these blackmailers and exhtorters.

    • Image guest 27-01-2017


  • Image Sam 23-01-2017 | Reply

    Supa osm initiative!!very much needed.....

    • Image guest 14-10-2017


  • Image Sthitapragyna 23-01-2017 | Reply

    Very osm initiative It was very much needed

    • No Replies
  • Image Mohammed 23-01-2017 | Reply

    our country needs more support. more open forum to put our choices in front of others.

    • No Replies
  • Image    23-01-2017 | Reply

    Good job guys! Pleased to see your efforts regarding our safety. Just a piece of advice: i.e., such posts offered by grindr, should have "read later" option. As if I skip the article, can't read it later. Maybe a notification center in the app would do. Thanks

    • Image Sunny 23-01-2017

      I agree

  • Image Prasad 23-01-2017 | Reply

    Very nice work... I support this...

    • Image gues 30-10-2017


  • Image Manav 23-01-2017 | Reply

    Good work guys. Like to add a suggestion - when on grindr if someone blocks you / you block someone let only the future chats be blocked instead of the entire past conversation. Losing any info / pic of such characters who tried misleading the other leaves the other blank.

    • No Replies
  • Image shanky   23-01-2017 | Reply


    • Image guest 24-10-2017


  • Image Siddhant 23-01-2017 | Reply

    Great Initiative!

    • Image guest 22-10-2017


    • Image guest 15-10-2017

      U from

  • Image    25-01-2017 | Reply

    Hi friends m New hr

    • Image guest 28-01-2017


  • Image Rahil 27-01-2017 | Reply

    Hi... Just wanted to let u knw tht i have been blackmailed by sum1 whos a very gud frnd of mine n i was all helpless...police n evry1 filed a case against me for sexual family has to pay 1lakh as to gt me out or else i was asked to b sentenced fr 8 years ...this is rly bad in our country support fr our community....i am from.delhi...i was out wid my frnds n thn v had a beer...n thn my frnd said he feels like vomiting n i was already inside the washroom n also entrd n locked the door frm inside...n thn acted as if he wants to vomit...thn all of a sudden started shouting n called evry1 tht i forcibly molested him n sexually assaulted him....i was really helpless....they made this plan just to loot money frm my family as i belong to a very rich family....evn police was in thr favour n blamed me n scared my family...n just to rescue frm the insult n the matter my family gave them 1lakh rs....plz tell me wht shld do...m rly nt safe....plz help me...this case happend jst 2 days back...on 24th jan 2017... I feel like commitin family feels disgusting fr me Plz help

    • Image Varta Trust 27-01-2017

      Hello Rahil, I'm Pawan Dhall writing on behalf of Varta. We advise that you immediately seek legal help. We can refer you to queer friendly lawyers in Delhi. If you want legal aid, please drop in a line at as soon as possible.

  • Image Kaushik Gupta 27-01-2017 | Reply

    Hello Rahil, I am Kaushik, a lawyer practicing at Calcutta High Court. I have been working with the queer community for more than 15 years. I am very sorry to read about the abuse you suffered. Let me assure you that it was not your fault. You are in no way to be blamed. You did what one human being should do for another. You are a victim of crime and please do not take it upon yourself. As Pawan has mentioned, please seek legal advice in your city. We can get you in touch with queer friendly lawyers there who will be able to help you out. If you want to speak to me please write a mail and Pawan or I will share the number. Please remember we are all with you. Hugs!

    • No Replies
  • Image Nazeem 29-01-2017 | Reply

    Hello, This information is really helpfull. Thanks alot!

    • No Replies
  • Image Shubh Das 03-02-2017 | Reply

    I am 20, from Assam. Iam in a very bad situation and it is killing me to a mental level. 3_4 years ago one guy from my town befriended me and somehow he was able to take a nude pic of me. Afterwards he is blackmailing me for sex and sometimes money. I cant report the local police as i know they wont help me as i dont have any proof against them.... That guy and his friend is giving me messages to show the photos to my parents if I don't obey them... please help me

    • No Replies
  • Image Ram Kumar 10-10-2017 | Reply

    That's a nice thing for community people. We really need someone who understands problem and give solutions.

    • No Replies
  • Image loveable boy 10-10-2017 | Reply

    Thnks for evrything u hve gving hr i love it

    • No Replies
  • Image pranay 13-10-2017 | Reply

    to use app like grinder - (a location based app.), Hackers can easily attack to grinder of ur phone & then remaining apps & registrations of the app. internationally it happens easily ... really B Alert. i suggest Grinder to increase safty.. thx.

    • No Replies
  • Image Ganesh 15-10-2017 | Reply

    Gay now like

    • No Replies
  • Image Hi 27-10-2017 | Reply


    • No Replies
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