Your Worse Nightmare: Sexting a Minor… Or So You Think!
The Daily Scam has been reporting on the “underage girl sext” scam since September, 2016. We have been personally contacted by more than 155 individuals, mostly young men, or their representatives as of June 19, 2017. This scam has been exceptionally frightening to many of the men who contacted us and many have fallen prey, paying the scammer $300 to $1800. We also heard from a mother whose son committed suicide last December after being targeted by this scam. Her son thought his life was over and he was going to serve a long jail time and be labelled as a child sex offender. (Out of respect to his mother, we have never reported on his suicide.)
To better understand this scam, read either or both of these articles that detail how this scam has targeted so many young men:
We have so much data on this scam that it is hard not to notice many common threads between them all. For example, the data strongly suggests there are two individuals who are responsible for perpetrating the majority of these scams. In fact, we believe that one individual in particular is responsible for more than 70% of these scams. Data also suggests a Southern connection to Texas from one scammer and to the Carolinas (likely North Carolina) from another scammer.
During the Spring of 2017, we saw the primary scammer tweak this scam in some subtle and effective ways. One of these tweaks has been the scammer, pretending to be the “girl,” informing the young man via text that “she” is just 2-3 weeks away from her eighteenth birthday. “She” sends him one or more sexts. Since eighteen is the legal age of consent for sexual relations across most of the United States, some of the men who have been targeted (typically age 19 – 22) think “what the hell, she’s almost 18” and send a sext back –usually after the girl has asked for it. The next day, however, the young man gets a call from the “angry father” (the scammer) who knows he’s got the kid by the neck because the young man sent a sext after seeing the “girl” text that she was under legal age. Then, to kick up the pressure, the young man gets a call from a police detective telling him to make amends with the father or he (the detective) will be forced to arrest the young man. (In this example of the scam below, we believe the “father” and the “detective” are the same man.)
This is exactly what happened to a 19-year old we’ll call “P.” P said we could publish this story but asked us to protect his identity. He was extremely shaken up by what happened to him.
June 17; 4:45 pm, P writes:
I met a girl who said she was 20 on a dating website I ended up testing her after she gave me her number and we asked each other’s ages I said I was 19 and I am. And she said she was 17, but 18 in 15 days so I thought she was role playing so she sent me some nudes and I sent some back and I hadn’t texted her for a day and I get 4 calls on a row from her I declined all of them, then got a voicemail from a man saying it was her father and he wanted me to explain myself before calling the cops because his wife wanted to. So I called him because I was scared shitless and didn’t want to go to jail and I hung up on him twice after talking to him because I was sick and he finally said if I were to pay half of therapy and another class that he wouldn’t cal the cops. He wanted $500 down split between two green dot gift cards with the code scratched off. So I sent him that and he still wants 1800 dollars. Can I please have some advice because she did say she was 17 before she sent the pictures, thinking it was roleplay. I really just don’t want to get in trouble for this
June 17; 4:46 pm, Doug writes:
P, What you described sounds exactly like the scam that has targeted more than a hundred young men who have contacted me. Think about it… The “Dad” is only interested in money to “make this right.” Also, other young men have told me that he wants money through green dot gift cards. Some have paid and then he comes back for more. You want my advice? Tell him that you know this is a scam and that YOU are going to the police. Then block his number. Also, what dating site did you use? Can you send me the profile screenshot of the girl? Or their names? Or can you forward the voice message left by the father? I can post them for others to check out on our site.
June 17; 4:47 pm, P writes:
Thank you for responding should I be worried because she did say she was 17 before I sent the messages
June 17; 4:50 pm, Doug writes:
P, I cannot give you the answer you most want to hear. I can only tell you that what you describe as happening to you has been described to me by more than 145 other men. Some have sent sexts and some paid the scammer as you have. And yes, a few have admitted sending sexts after hearing that the “girl” is almost 18. THAT is the tragic genius of this scam. You think she’s almost of legal age and send compromising photos, thereby feeling vulnerable. I can only tell you that this FEELS STRONGLY like the scam I’ve had described to me over and over. The fact that the “dad” keeps asking for money supports this point. If you were my son, my advice would be to block the caller and not pay another penny.
June 17; 4:57 pm, P writes:
The number is 843-847-8816. I would actually really appreciate if you called and talked to them because I am scared shitless
June 17; 4:57 pm, Doug writes:
I will not call the scammer on your behalf.
June 17; 5:03 pm, P writes:
I’m just really scared because I did mess up if it’s true and I really don’t want to go to jail. I’m worried as well because they know what city I live in.
June 17; 5:06 pm, Doug writes:
I understand your fear. It drove one young man to commit suicide. I hope that it helps when I tell you I’ve heard directly from more than 145 men about this scam. What’s happening to you sounds like this scam. What was the dating app? Does the father sound like any of the recorded messages on my site…
June 17; 4:57 pm, P writes:
Her name was Jenny.
[NOTE FROM TDS: The photos used below were most likely taken from someone else’s profile. TDS tried to do a reverse image search to find out who is really in the photo but was unsuccessful. If any readers know this young woman, please contact us with that information. Thank you.] June 17; 5:26 pm, P writes: [TDS NOTE: Voice message from father contains lots of profanity.]
June 17; 5:29 pm, Doug writes:
That voice message you sent me sounds a lot like caller #31 listed in my article. Play the audio and listen for yourself. Visit: http://www.thedailyscam.com/plenty-of-fish-pof-has-plenty-of-sharks/ Scroll 2/3 the way down the page to reference #31 with the sound file under it.
June 17; 5:30 pm, P writes:
I’m trusting you here. Do you 100% think this is a scam and that I should block the number?
June 17; 5:39 pm, Doug writes:
I told you that I believe this is a scam. If you need more proof, tell the scammer that you want to pay him in person or can only pay by check and ask for his full name and full address to send the check. Insist on it. Try insisting that you want to apologize to his wife and “Jenny.” I will bet money that he won’t let you talk to “Jenny” or his wife and will make some excuse why you can’t. And he won’t give you an address and name to send the check to. He’ll pressure you hard to send money through untraceable methods like green dot or walmart money card.
June 17; 5:42 pm, P writes:
I appreciate your help the app was also called hot hookups. I hope I am man enough to block the number and not send any more money as I have already sent $500 that I really needed. And you can use any of the info I sent you please just block out my last name especially in the voicemail. [TDS NOTE: We decided it was best to remove P’s first and last name.]
June 17; 9:10 pm, Doug writes:
Several other young men have told me that the “dad” wants to check in every day. I think it is his way of keeping the pressure on you so you pay him. My advice is to block his calls. You should ask other friends or family for their opinions. Have them read my article on this scam.
June 17; 11:38 pm, P writes:
I called on a different number and they didn’t answer and it was a girls voice for the voicemail is that usual
June 18; 2:34 pm, P writes:
Here is another voicemail that was sent to me today. The number is 803-729-1169 [Voicemail from “Detective”]
TDS Note: We believe that this “Detective” is, in fact, the same man pretending to be the “father.” Both the father and detective called P “buddy.” We’ve copied both of them saying “buddy” and alternated them back and forth. To us, it sounds like the same man. You decide….
June 18; 2:43 pm, Doug writes:
Detective Turner?? From what police dept? Think about it. Would a detective call you and tell you to pay money to the “wronged” father if, in fact, you committed a felony?!! NO. The real police would show up at your door. This call confirms what I’ve been telling you! It’s bull. Block the number. It’s listed as belonging to someone named Angel Vasquez from Columbia, South Carolina on this website: http://folkdirectory.net/803-729/Columbia-SC/1f43437
June 18; 5:04 pm, P sends another screenshot of texts between P and Dad: June 18; 7:46 pm, P writes:
Thank you I realize now it is blackmail and I have already blocked the numbers. I really do appreciate your help, it sucks that I paid 500 dollars but I don’t have to pay anymore and please feel free to use this in your article and please block my last name. Thank you, P