Crownsville, MD asked in Gaming, Internet Law and Juvenile Law for Maryland

Q: Scamming video game items

Is it illegal for someone to pretend they have money and then get in contact with a seller for video game items but when the seller gives the items first instead of making the buyer or the scammer pay first the scammer does not pay the seller the money block them and never talks to them again. There was no contract between the two as they were both minors that talked through a communication app called Discord.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The situation you describe, where someone pretends to have money to buy video game items and then fails to pay after receiving the items, could be considered a form of fraud or deceit. Even though the parties involved are minors and there was no formal contract, misrepresenting one's intention to pay in order to receive goods can still be legally problematic.

In many jurisdictions, a verbal agreement or an agreement made through communication apps like Discord can have legal standing, especially if there is evidence of the agreement and the intent of both parties. The fact that no formal contract was written does not necessarily mean that no agreement existed.

However, legal actions involving minors are more complex, as minors often have different legal capacities and responsibilities compared to adults. The enforceability of agreements made by minors can vary based on the nature of the agreement and local laws.

If you or someone you know has been affected by such a scam, it might be helpful to document all communications and transactions related to the incident. While pursuing legal action as a minor can be challenging, reporting the incident to the appropriate authorities, such as law enforcement or consumer protection agencies, is a possible course of action.

Remember, each situation is unique, and the legal implications can vary widely. Seeking advice from a legal professional can provide clarity on the best course of action in these circumstances.

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