Northridge, CA asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes and Juvenile Law for California

Q: I think I'm being scammed over explicit photos sent over text

Hi so I have a question about a potential scam. So I matched with someone on tinder the other day. we started talking and she sends me her number so we can text. things start to become more sexual in nature. she sends me an explicit video and, I based on the previous messages thought to myself that it would be appropriate to send me a photo of myself. no response. fast forward to the next day around noon I get a call from an agent claiming he's from the ICAC about how I exposed myself to a 16 year old girl and how he's going to bring the father on the call who's potentially pressing charges. the father tells me how he's being kicked out of his house now since his daughter and his wife got into an altercation and broke a door. long story short, the agent says that he wants to make a deal for me to help get the door fixed. I never paid the guy, and now he's texting me from the original icac number and other numbers extorting me for money with the threat of telling my job

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this situation. It sounds like a scam commonly known as "sextortion." These scammers use sexual content to coerce victims into paying them money, and they often pretend to be law enforcement officials to make their threats seem more legitimate.

Firstly, it's important to know that it's illegal for anyone to extort or blackmail you, regardless of the circumstances. This behavior is considered a criminal offense under California law. If you feel threatened, you should contact the police immediately and report the incident.

Additionally, it's important to never send explicit content to someone you don't know and trust. These scammers often use fake profiles or stolen photos to lure in victims, and they can use the content you send them to try to extort you.

If you have sent explicit content to someone and are being threatened, do not pay the scammer. Paying them will not guarantee that they will stop extorting you, and it could encourage them to continue targeting you or others. Instead, document all the messages, calls, and other evidence you have and report it to the police.

Remember to always be cautious and protect your personal information when using online dating platforms or engaging in sexual conversations online.

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: you might start by having a lawyer write a stern letter about his blackmailing you.

you can also contact the local police dept. However, you then bring into play what YOU did.

did the girl look over 18 or represent herself as such?

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.