Individuals required to register as a sex offender in Pennsylvania should be aware that there has been an increase in attempts to defraud these individuals.
A registered sex offender receives a telephone call from an individual claiming to be a law enforcement official. The caller advises the registered sex offender that he or she is not in compliance with their registration requirements, and sometimes claims to hold a warrant for the offender’s arrest. The caller advises that the issue can be resolved if the registered sex offender obtains some form of cash card and or arranges a money transfer.
An individual receiving such a telephone call should not initiate any type of financial transaction without further verifying the validity of the call.
The Pennsylvania State Police does not solicit registered sex offenders for any type of monetary compensation to gain compliance with registration requirements. Any issues concerning compliance with registration requirements is only resolved by an offender appearing at an approved registration site, or by personal contact with a law enforcement official.
If a registered sex offender receives this type of call and has any question regarding their compliance status, they should contact the Pennsylvania State Police, Megan’s Law Section at 1-866-771-3170.
Any individual who believes they may have been the victim of similar fraudulent activity should attempt to verify the phone number of the incoming call, obtain as much information as possible about the caller, note the details of the instructions provided to resolve the issue, and contact their local police department.
These perpetrators can be very difficult to locate. An electronic money transfer can be accomplished in minutes, and the funds are often unable to be recovered.