Scammers - "Home Address Law" Myth

Scammers suck. period.

Once someone gets scammed usually they will make some sort of backlash video. Just about all of them being non-threatening and providing factual and helpful information, such as the name of the person, their online alias (like youtube, ebay name, etc.) and then of course… their home address.

Here is the problem I have almost as much as scammers. Someone is bound to make the following comments along the lines of “It sucks you got scammed, but you’re a dick for posting their home address.” “Yeah posting their home address is against the law and it can get you sued.”

Let me be the first to pop this bubble.

And the reason why I feel the need to address this topic is twofold:
1.) Scammers should get no benefit of the doubt.
2.) Making ignorant statements about the law seems highly unethical to me and happens way to often.

I’m a senior working on getting my Bachelors in Pre-law (paralegal studies) and have worked at law firms before. I only address these credentials because I have access to Westlaw, an online database that is very expensives, but allows firms to search every case, statute, court opinion, etc. both federal and state.

I’ve done a lot of research on this topic of whether or not "publicly exposing someone’s address over the internet is either: 1. a crime 2. invasion of privacy (civil law).

I have found nothing directly stating that this act is a crime. And I have no reason to believe so. Can you imagine law enforcement knocking on your door because you gave away someones home address on the internet? No? Me neither.

More importantly in regards to civil law, and actually having the scammer sue you (imagine that) they would have no case. I cite this case as the most important find: McNutt v. New Mexico State Tribune Co. 88 N.M. 162 (this can be googled)

Basically what happened is the plaintiff tried to sue for a few reasons, but the important one here being the publication of another’s home address. The higher court held that a home address is public fact and publication of it cannot be considered invasion of privacy.

Here is an excerpt from another case:

Again, I could go on about the topic, but the moral is that there is no law against publicizing someone else’s home address. Not to mention that if they tried to sue you they would have no grounds to do it, based on these two cases and many others.

I don’t encourage harassment, but I just wanted to make it clear that if anyone hears that statement, it is completely untrue.


Way to put in that research and dispel this myth that has been going around for quite some time. I certainly appreciate it.

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Thanks a lot, I appreciate the feedback (:

The Pokemon TCG Collecting ‘community’ on YouTube is cancerous, full of scammers and deceivers, and generally bad people.


Nah not so much a law, maybe unethical… But that’d be up for debate. A minor cannot file a lawsuit (obviously) so it’d be up to the parents which would lead back to the original topic. Ultimately it would lead back to “how did you get the minors address anyways” which would be a parenting issue.

On the contrary if a minor scams an adult for a large amount of valuable cards a suit for breach of contract can’t be brought

@richiel1991 thanks for the post. If the scammer himself ended up being a victim of a crime as a result of his address being posted, wouldn’t that make the person who posted the address accessory to the crime?

I’m interested in this as well.
I would assume that the poster of the address would only be liable if there was an argument, based on how they posted it, for their having malicious intent. Posting it but clearly specifying that it is strictly to be used for business avoidance and personal protection should keep that issue from coming up, right?

Well I’m glad someone put this out there because it is one of the more common myths. It makes sense though. If you voluntarily give out your address, you should probably assume responsibility for where it ends up.

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More than likely no, they would not be an accessory to the crime. Unless there was a conversation that went down like this:

Person1: Hey what is that scammer’s home address? I want to KILL him

Person 2: Oh okay here it is …

Person1: Thanks I cant wait to go kill this guy now.

Even that is a long-shot. An accessory to the crime usually deals with people who drive murderers/bank robbers, etc. to the location and pick them up. As well as supplying them weapons and stuff like that. Just simply giving out the address would not be cause for an accessory to the crime, mainly because using the “reasonable person standard” is not reasonable to expect that giving out someones public address would result in a crime. Not to mention like the court stated earlier, it is already public record.

Now if someone gave out a scammer’s address and added “lets go throw rocks at this guys house.” Its possible he could be charged with some sort of crime if it actually happened, but there would have to be strong evidence that that statement alone was the cause of destruction, which at that point would have nothing to do with giving out the address and more to do with destruction of property (or whatever the crime be).

I should note, that with a good lawyer/District attorney, etc. it COULD be possible but as far as we are concerned as Pokemon traders 99.9% unlikely, and nothing to do with strictly giving out the address anyways.

The main issue we would have to worry about is some sort of harassment issue (which I don’t encourage). These usually result in peace orders, however most trades are interstate so even this would be a long shot. Although in my personal experience I have actually seen a judge grant someone a peace order because he said his ex-gf was calling him on the phone too much(yeah what a crybaby… and a pathetic judge).

As far as minors go, I haven’t found any law or case that involves anything close to the situation. Most things I see deal with schools releasing their information out to third parties, but nothing really an issue with the home address. I’ll still have to look into this though as I am not 100%, but honestly the same theory should apply… as long as there is no advocating of committing a crime against the minor strictly giving out the address should not be against any laws. And again advocating of a crime would have to actually be serious, simply posting on facebook “lets bomb his house” would more than likely be admissible in court.

Remember I am not a lawyer, but it seems pretty clear-cut here. Just think of it this way, if giving out someones home address to the public was a law, then how would anyone get served to court? Lawyers have to serve people and in order to do this they need to find addresses, which usually means they’re asking people for it.

I may look more into mail fraud and breach of contracts, especially after the MustBePokemon disgrace this summer. Once $$ amounts get into the thousands, people could really have some cases going. (it sucks if it ever has to get to that point though)