Sex offenders scammed out of thousands via fake officers, Kentucky State Police say

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Officers with Kentucky State Police (KSP) say there’s a scam that’s surprisingly targeting sex offenders. It has been happening for the past year the suspected crooks have collected thousands, investigators said in a news release. 

Officers say the unknown callers are posing as police officers and claim the sex offender has failed to update their registration. The caller then threatens to arrest the offender, unless they pay in the form of a pre-paid card or by some other electronic transaction. The targeted person must give the caller the card number and PIN to avoid arrest, the news release states.

All sex offenders who have been targeted are indeed on the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry, KSP says. The caller is threatening the sex offender with further criminal penalty if they don’t pay up. Investigators are urging any sex offender who has been targeted to contact their local Probation and Parole Office if they have questions about their registration status.

KSP provided this information about the registry and how it works:

  • The Kentucky Sex Offender Registry is operated solely by the Kentucky State Police. Each county’s Probation and Parole office serves as place of registry for all members.
  • If a registrant is non-compliant, a notification is sent by mail to the registrant along with state and local law enforcement.
  • The Kentucky State Police will not verify sex offender compliance over the phone.
  • The Kentucky State Police, along with local law enforcement, NEVER require any form of payment over the phone to satisfy a criminal charge or warrant.
  • Scams often come from local phone numbers and sometimes use names of actual law enforcement officers to make the scam more believable.
  • Callers often speak with broken English and have poor grammar usage.
  • Never provide personal information like a social security number or birthday to someone over the phone. Law enforcement would already have this information when calling.

Investigators did not say how the scam was brought to their attention or how many sex offenders paid the alleged scammer.

Click on Kentucky Sex Offender Registry to learn more about the registry or to look up an offender.

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