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Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34442
Experience:  30 years experience representing clients.
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My web browser informs me that I have twelve hours to pay $300

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My web browser informs me that I have twelve hours to pay $300 via GreenDot MoneyPak in order to "unlock my browser" for being "subjected to violation of Copyright and Related Rights Law (Video, Music, Software) and illegally using or distributing copyrighted contents, thus infringing Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, also known as the Copyright of the Criminal Code of the United States of America....

The window that tells me this goes on to explain it's either about my having used prohibited porn or my having neglected to prevent my PC's infection by malware.

The window does show an "" URL. The banner across the top says "The FBI Cyber Department", I'm inclined to believe this is a legitimate communique, but then, I'm not very technologically aware.

Now, "Pursuant to the Amendment to the Criminal Code of the [USA] of May 28, 2011, this law infringement (if it is not repeated -first time) may be considered as conditional in case you pay the fine of the States."

In summary, I have these questions:
1.) Is this legit or is it a sophisticated scam?
2.) Does paying the fine admit guilt?
3.) What is the meaning of that last quote?
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I will do whatever I can to answer your question and provide excellent service.

I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you, but I believe I have information which you will find helpful.

This is absolutely a fairly common scam. The people contacting you have nothing to do with law enforcement. It is not illegal to view porn (other than child porn) on your computer. The FBI does not engage in extortion by locking someone's computer. Do not send money. They are trying to steal from you.

You will want to run an anti virus/malware scan in case you have a virus on your computer, as is usually the case in these situations.

I hope this is helpful. If you have more follow up questions please let me know. It is never a problem.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, Loren. From your answer, I learn that "" is a URL that has somehow been used by scammers. Does the real FBI not have any defense against such things?


One more follow up question, and I think that'll be all: Wouldn't the real FBI just arrest me, you know, in person?

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX following up with me.

The FBI has posted warnings about this scam (see the following link: You can report this online to the FBI at

Yes, if the FBI were going to arrest you, it would be in person and not via email or other message.

I hope this is helpful to you.

Thank you.

Loren and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your positive rating of my service to you and your generous bonus. Let me know if you need more help or have future questions. I will be here for you. Just ask for me by name at the start of your question - "Loren" or use the following link (which you can bookmark in your browser):

Best wishes and good luck to you.

If it is not too much trouble, Scott, when you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JA/Pearl in a day or two, please consider rating me highly (9 or 10). It affects my ability to continue to assist you and other customers on JA/Pearl and would be most appreciated.