Posted on Aug 06, 2013

This story is something you might believe is a hoax - but apparently it's real. 21 year old Jay Matthew Riley was on his computer when a message popped up telling him to pay a fine, or he would be investigated by the FBI. I'm sure he had a guilty conscience - he was watching child porn at the time.

Instead of paying the money, he took  himself and his computer down to the local police station to find out if there were any warrrants out for him. Of course there weren't, but what are the police going to do in that situation? They did a little investigating, and eventually found child pornography on his computer - which he conveniently brought right to them.

I'm not sure what to think about this. Perhaps Mr. Riley had a guilty conscience and wanted to confess to someone. That would be a somewhat noble motive.  The other explanation is that he is just incredibily stuipid - he was looking at child pornograpy after all. I have no doubt that there are people who click on those pop ups - if not there wouldn't be so many of them. But he went beyond that, and actively sought out the police.

Maybe the FBI is missing out a new investigative tactic - throw enough "pop up " windows out there and someone may eventually confess. Just in case you were wondering though, things don't work like the virus claims. If you are being investigated you can't just pay a fine and be done with. Instead of giving that money to some foreign geek, spend it on hiring a good criminal defense lawyer.

Walter Reaves
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Criminal Defense Attorney Walter Reaves has been practicing law for over 35 years.