By Sandy . . . We have received word today that the scam targeting and extorting persons on sexual offense registries has morphed into something even more vile and horrible than the telephone scams in the form of extortion letters sent to the addresses that appear on the public registry.
Mary Sue of Texas Voices sent out a warning today and sent this to Texas legislators:
People who are required to register on the sex offense registry throughout Texas have been dealing with a team of scam callers for over 2 years now. These callers are very skilled and have most likely made a fortune using the Texas Public Registry as their target list. Not only do they call the registered person’s cell phone, they also call family members.
And, as if that’s not enough, yesterday, 2 of our members, one in Austin and one in Dallas, received a horrible, sadistic extortion letter in the mail. Both letters came in a plain white envelope with no return address. We expect more registered people in Texas will be receiving the same letter soon.
Research shows that the public registry does not serve the purpose for which it was intended. However, it does serve as a great resource for mean, dishonest people who attempt to harass, cheat, vandalize, and steal from those who are required to register and their family members.
Kudos to Mary Sue for using this opportunity to show our legislators yet another way in which the registry is an instrument, not for safety or protection, but for cruelty and viciousness toward those who have sexual crime convictions.
Whatever you do, DO NOT send or give money in any shape, form, or fashion to ANYONE in response to a telephone call, an email, or a letter threatening you or a family member as a registered person.
Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.