What to do When Unknowingly Involved in an Internet Scam

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“I unknowing got involved in an internet scam;

My question: What responsibility do I have? I did not promise anyone anything, I did not solicit in anyway anyones funds, I transmitted it as agreed to.”Whether you did it knowingly or not, you aided a crime and could be held legally liable for your involvement. Based upon your explanation, you may have some mitigating factors that may help you avoid serious penalties. But at a minimum you will need to refund any money you made to the victims, and be prepared to assist them (and law enforcement) in doing whatever is possible to catch the perpetrators.

Question: Your best bet is to contact a criminal defense attorney in your area (contact your state or county Bar Association and make use of their attorney referral system to find an attorney in your area who will give you a brief consultation, often at a discounted rate). That attorney will be able to assist you in understanding what penalties you may face, and the attorney may be able to assist you in approaching law enforcement in a way that will favorably dispose them towards you as they consider what, if any, charges to bring against you.