New Bay Area scam targeting chat room users with threats of Criminal Prosecution for Child Pornography (CA Penal Code 311)

Since January 2017, Summit Defense Criminal Attorneys has received numerous calls from terrified individuals who describe essentially an identical fact pattern:

After a brief encounter with an another individual in a chat room and an unsolicited sexual photograph, they receive a call from an irate father who claims either an accident or medical treatment for their minor child.  The calls is accompanied with demand for funds and a threat to contact the authorities for sexual contact with a minor or possession of child pornography (CA Penal Code 311).

Naturally, this produces extreme anxiety and several callers have informed us that they have indeed made large payments, only to get additional calls and additional demands for compensation.  This scam relies on two things:

  1. Inability of victim to contact the police for fear of criminal prosecution.
  2. Anxiety produced as the victim is often unable to sort out actual criminal liability.

THIS IS A SCAM.  While the details of the scam may vary slightly, it essentially follows the fact pattern above.  If you find yourself in this situation, Summit Defense Criminal Attorneys can help you ascertain actual potential for criminal liability free of charge.  Under no circumstances, should you concede to demand for payment.