Child Pornography and Internet Dating Scams
Online dating sites such as Tinder® and Plenty of Fish® are a mine field of online scams and undercover police officers looking for child pornography and child sex offenders. To avoid trouble and possible incarceration we thought it would help to write a blog about a trend we have seen in the office.
About four times a week, we get calls that go like this:
“I was on a dating website and met a girl. She and I exchanged photographs (usually explicit) and now she or her family wants money to not report me to the police because she is underage.”
This is a scam. If the police are involved, they will not work out a cash settlement.
The attorneys at Randall & Stump, would suggest some very simple guidelines to not find yourself in trouble.
1. Don’t send naked pictures to people you don’t know;
2. Don’t receive Naked pictures from people you don’t know;
3. Always ask what the persons age is;
4. If they are under 18, stop communicating with them.
Failure to follow these four simple guidelines can result in you being charged with several serious felony offenses.
For example, if you receive pictures of an underage female you can be charged with offenses in State or Federal Court. Federal Crimes could include – receiving and/or possessing child pornography. 18 U.S.C. § 2252. North Carolina State offenses could include -disseminating obscene materials to a minor. N.C.G.S. § 14-190.7; N.C.G.S. § 14-190.16. First degree sexual exploitation of a minor; N.C.G.S. § 14-190.17; andN.C.G.S. § 14-190.17A. Third degree sexual exploitation of a minor. These offense range from Class I felonies to Class C felonies.
There are so many bad things that can happen, you must ask yourself is it worth sending or receiving that picture?
If you or a loved one has been charged with an internet dating site related offense, please give us a call today at (980) 237-4579.