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Accidentally viewed child pornography?

Hiya. I'm a 16 year old girl, and I was just browsing the internet when a child pornography page appeared. I tried to exit the site but a lot of adverts were preventing me from doing that. I then received a message saying it was the FBI and I could be charged with a fine or worse, imprisonment. I was just wandering will I go to jail? And will the FBI show up at my door? I promise you it was accidental and really scared
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Sam

Hi there,

It sounds like this was a scary experience for you and I'm really pleased you wrote to me. I know lots of other people have similar questions about these types of messages. Being online can be difficult sometimes. There are lots of people looking to make money by creating fake messages about paying fines and going to prison. These are spam pop-ups and it’s important to remember that it's not your fault.

I can’t say for sure but it’s very unlikely that what you’ve seen is a genuine FBI page. Whenever you are asked for money like this, it’s usually a sign that someone is trying to scam you. You did the right thing by trying to exit the site.

You should never give your name, personal details, address or bank account details to anyone on the internet. Try to close pop-ups, delete history and cookies on your computer and block sites that use these scams. Find out more about staying safe online.

You can also report any illegal things you come across to the police – you can do this through the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) or through the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). By doing this you’re helping to keep others safe and it can also help you to feel better because you’ll be doing something about it. I wouldn’t recommend going back to the site where you saw these images again, even to report it. Your online safety and feelings are what matter the most.

Seeing disturbing things online can be hard to forget, so you should make sure you’re looking after yourself too. You might want to think about talking to an adult you trust to get some support. You can also talk to a ChildLine counsellor, they're always here for you.

I hope that helps.

Take care,
Sam

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