Underage Sexting Setup

3 years ago

Underage Sexting is when an adult shares or participates in an exchange of sexually-explicit content with a minor in the form of images or text. It is a crime for an adult to “sext” with a minor, anyone under 18. Explicit content is often sent to entrap an adult and subject them to extortion. Crimes can also occur when an adult sends content to coerce a minor.

Underage Sexting : The Setup

With the ever-increasing popularity of online dating and “hookup” websites and applications, it’s no wonder that these platforms have become popular with scam artists. Our Nashville law firm has been seeing an increase in setups and scams associated with underage sexting and the perpetrators can be surprisingly sophisticated. If you find yourself in a scenario similar to what is described in this article, it would be very advisable to get your situation evaluated by a criminal attorney.

So here’s the common scenario involved in the setup: You’ve been talking to someone online who appears to be at least 18 years old. You’ve also sent pictures or suggestive messages with the other individual, and suddenly things change drastically. The individual you’re talking to reveals they are a minor. At this point, there are one of three most likely realities:

  1. The person with whom you’ve been speaking to is in fact a minor, but not involved in a setup.

  2. The person is in fact a minor, and someone claiming to be their parent reaches out to you and threatens to go the authorities if you don’t pay some sum of money.

  3. The person with whom you’ve been speaking with is not in fact a minor, but nevertheless pretends to be one with the purpose of extorting money out of you.

Regardless of the actual reality, if you think you’ve fallen victim to a setup or scam involving a minor on an online dating or hookup platform, you need to proceed carefully and get some legal advice fast. You should also immediately cease all communication with the alleged minor or anyone associated with them because, the simple truth is, none of the possibilities are ideal, and how you react makes all the difference. Moreover, it is often difficult to know which of these scenarios is actually applicable to your situation at the time.

These “underage sexting” setups (as in scenarios (2) and (3) above) follow a similar pattern and may or may not involve an actual minor.

  1. Almost immediately after engaging in a conversation with a young woman or man on a dating app or online forum, who claims to be 18 or over, he or she asks for your phone number so they can text you.

  2. The person wants to exchange pictures via texting, and it doesn’t take long before he or she sends a sext or nude photograph and asks for you to send a nude photograph. He or she will sometimes say he or she is a couple of weeks away from turning 18 and then sends a sext. Some respond thinking “why not”—after all, the person will be 18 very soon.

  3. Within a day after you exchange these texts, you receive a call from someone claiming to be the “minor’s” father who says that the person you are communicating with is under 18 years of age and threatening to take action against you.

  4. The “father” always claims some reason why this experience is costing him money, usually over $1000. Some say that the “minor” needs therapy or they need to replace a smartphone or computer that was used to send/receive the sexts. Sometimes he seems be very respectful and on your side but has to appease the “minor’s” upset mother, and other times the “father” is angry and trying to scare you.

It should go without saying – Communicating with a minor in sexually explicit manner is against the law and carries significant consequences, including incarceration, registration on the sex offender list, and a significant amount of financial and emotional burden. Assuming you did not know or had reason to know the individual was a minor, you already have a defense to charges related to underage sexting. The law requires that for a person to be convicted of soliciting, attempting, or having sex with a minor, one must know or have reason to know that the other person is indeed a minor.

If you find yourself being threatened by a minor – Or his or her parent, with prosecution unless you pay money, or cooperate with their demands otherwise, you are now a victim of extortion. In no uncertain terms, whatever they are demanding from you to avoid them pressing charges is an illegal act in and of itself. Even if you knew that the individual with whom you were speaking with was a minor, extortion is not an allowable form of retaliation. In this situation, you are now a potential criminal defendant and a victim of the crime of extortion.

If the person with whom you were communicating is not a minor – You, fortunately, do not face the burden of having committed a serious criminal offense, but you nonetheless are faced with the issue of dealing with an extortion attempt. Even if the individual is not a minor but you had reason to think that the person was a minor, you could face criminal prosecution. If, however, you did not know or have reason to know that the person was a minor and the whole matter is a setup to extort money out of you, do not respond to their demands. You should seek the professional guidance of an attorney to assist you in this predicament because of the endless possibility of unknown facts and variables involved in this type of situation.

Every day innocent people fall victim to scam artists – On the internet, including situations involving minors—real or fake. Neither the alleged minor, their parent, nor the authorities have your best interests in mind in situations as described above. Hiring an attorney is not just the safest, but the smartest way to protect your rights, find a solution, and help counsel you through this difficult time.

The information you obtain from this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.


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  • I am going threw this right now it is exactly as stated in this article the fsther demanding $554 to replace a iphon he said he would need to get a new one becouse it has to do with his job. Thibg is if it had to do with his job he would need a new number the records should be able to still be pulled of the conversation between me and the suppossed daughter. When i say the set up is exact it is becouse it is almost word for word. She sent pictures three diffrent body type pics then asked to see stuff i sent one oicture and said what the heck sge will be 18 in febuary and i could be a friend until then.

    I am a veteran have siffered extreame emotional abuse in these past few months the supposed father has sense not changed his number and refuses to give me his info just shows up every so often to remind me they have not forgotten.

    I am battling new issues from iraq at the moment and this entire scenerio has pushed me to try to end my life a few times and i ended up in a psychiatric hospital for a week. Feels like a scam but i have no money to talk to a lawyer or seek advice. Honestly i have a fixed income due to the debiliating issues of my mental state and
    Worse off all they keep in contact . painted this oretry picture of how there daughter was in the wrong as well as me so they need the money to replace the phone and deactivation fee.
    I am so ashamed i did this while i was not in my right mind i will be forced to oay it if i do not find help. It is the exact scenerio as this post and frankly now i am even more alert.

  • Happened to me the exact way - I paid $600 in Green Dot MoneyPak by giving them the numbers off the card, then the other cards failed. Thus, i turned to gift cards and scratched off the numbers on the back and gave them those -total for all of this is $1,800. Oh there is also the possibility of the number I was given to straightn things out with MoneyPak was a scam. I requested a refund, they said I would get it in 7 to 14 business days. I doubt Iw ill

  • Wow, Ive sent $400 should I send more? The "father" is asking for 900 total for phone bill and to calm his wife down from filing police report. Eventually spoke to a "deputy" allegedly sitting in their home waiting for me to complete payment or else I would face criminal charges against me. I am not trying to risk this accusation on my record. This is scripted seems like for most. Was just trying to make friendly conversation and "minor" willingly sent nudes without me requesting them. Fortunately, I avoided sending the "minor" suggestive pictures of myself, but these are persistent actors and make it seem so real. No more conversations with online people for me.
    Thanksgiving holiday week had normal conversation with girl and then silence. Until 4 days later saying "heyyyy" and requests me to promise to not be mad that she is actually 17 year old girl with profile as older and reveals to be 18 in February. I wanted to be nice and continued conversation which was my criminal act.. she then RANDOMLY asks for my opinion, I said, "sure" takes advantage and sends pictures of her wearing underwear with jacket and then videos of her covering herself while showering. "Appealing Father" extorts money next day not willing to meet for cash because he repeats he would "kill" a pervert. They got me so far. I am afraid they've done this before and will follow up with that the photos I deleted immediately were leaked and now facing more criminal charges next upcoming months, here we go.

  • I'm going through the same issue the "girl" contacted me and imidetly started sending explicit messages and pictures and the father is demaninf 1999.94 for therapy for his daughter

  • I am thinking that this happing right now to me. I find this girl that says she is 21 on a dating site, then I give her my number. After a few hours someone claiming to be her father states that he is taking it to the sherriff's office. I am then contacted by someone claiming to be a detective and he states that the father just wants payment for the laptop that was broken. 3 different numbers where used one instate and 2 out of state.
    What are my options if any?

  • I am going through ti as I type. I meet a girl on line claiming to be Caucasian 21 YO and local. She asked me for my number and started texting me. after a few minutes she then sent a pic of her nude and a video. the next morning I get a call from someone claiming to be her dad. he told em her mother walked in on her making a video.The father sounded to a black male. I then get a call from someone claiming to be a sheriff's detective in South Carolina. the number the girl sent messages from was a local area code. but the father and detectives numbers were both from South Carolina. Both stated the paying for the laptop broken when the girl was caught by her mother is reimbursed.
    What options do I have.

  • What was the area codes that these father would call from ? A different one then the daughter rite ?

  • Going through this now it happened to me before a couple times I just have conversation they say they are underage after a while I never send nudes at anyone and never ask them to and at that point if they do they usually have you under the impression they are still 22. Sorry your going through this man I’m going through it as well don’t worry though

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