Phone scam targets sex offenders

Published 4:45 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2023

 

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency reports recent attempts were made to possibly deceive and extort registered sex offenders using information gathered from the agency’s Sex Offender Registry.

According to ALEA Sergeant Jeremy Burkett, the agency was made aware of incidents where a person or persons were reported to be gathering names listed on the website for scamming purposes.

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“The individual(s) is posing as a law enforcement officer over the phone, attempting to scam registered sex offenders, and gather funds,” Burkett said. “If you or a member of your family receive such a call, please contact local law enforcement and report the incident immediately.

Burkett discourages citizens from sending money or providing credit card or bank account information to any individual or individuals requesting the information or funds.

In similar scams, situations the Federal Communications Commission call “Caller ID Spoofing” callers may falsify the information transmitted to caller ID to disguise their identity and sometimes causing the caller to believe the call comes from a trusted local number.

When this happens, scammers usually provide enough personal information to the caller to create a believable scenario. Once the individual swallows the bait, the caller instructs them to send payment immediately and may threaten the receiver with penalties for non-compliance.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, spoofing scams are also know as imposter scams and come in many varieties, including Social Security Scams, romance scams, and technology scams.

The Attorney General’s office recommends consumers use caution to avoid being victimized, by never giving out personal or financial information when called. Avoid trusting caller ID and always hang up on robocalls.

Persons who believe they have been can visit consumer.ftc.gov to learn what steps they can take to act quickly.

The FTC cannot resolve individual reports, but the agency can use reports to investigate and build cases against fraud, scams, and bad business practices.

To report a phone scam, citizens can also file a complaint with the FTC at reportfraud.ftc.gov or by calling (877) 382-4357. 

ALEA’s Sex Offender Registry uses OffenderWatch to manage and monitor whereabouts and also track conduct and compliance of Alabama’s registered sex offenders. For more information concerning this service, visit www.icreimewatch.net/index.php?AgencyID=54247