CA: New Phone Scam Targets Local Registered Sex Offenders, Sheriff’s Office Says

Source: 10/14/21

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has recently received reports of a phone scam targeting local PC 290 Registrants.

As part of this scam, the caller claims they are from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and tells the victim that due to “new laws”, they are now out of compliance with current PC 290 registration requirements. The scammer tells the victim that they must purchase a pre-paid debit card and make a payment over the phone to come into compliance, or face arrest.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like the community to know that this is a scam. The HCSO does not charge fees for PC 290 Registration. While law enforcement may contact you regarding a warrant or investigation, we will never demand payment in exchange for dropping a warrant or stopping an investigation. Additionally, no government agency will ask you to mail large sums of cash or pay with gift cards or pre-paid money cards.

Remember these tips to help protect yourself from fraud:

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Of course this is a scam, but it would not even be possible if the damn list were not public. This is clearly and completely on the head of the damn state and they should be on the hook as a co-defendant if anyone is scammed out of their money or savings by these cons.

I hope I get a call from a scammer. I love mess’n with their heads and wasting their time on the phone.

Some registrants/people will fall for this though. I have a friend that wants to move to a different state because he honestly does not understand the laws and thinks because he was charged with a sex crime in Penn and now a lifetime registrant in Penn he thinks if he moves to another state like W.Virginia since he did not commit his crime in that state he won’t have to register. Some people are very simple minded. Every time he brings this thought up to me I try so hard to get him to understand but I see it just does not do any good. He almost sold his house to move.

Trust me, it’s VERY convincing and if they time it around a move or your registration date it’s terrifying.

To avoid such phone scams, I would strongly recommend the following:
#1. Know something about your local registering agency (Sheriff’s Office, Police Department, etc) and question the caller about it. For example, “Is Sheriff Rogers still there or has he already retired?” Or “Is Mr. Jameson still handling the annual registration process? Why isn’t he calling me about this issue?”.
(Meanwhile, you know for a fact that there has never been a Sheriff Rogers or a Mr. Jameson. Just see if they fall for it. You KNOW the REAL Sheriff is Sheriff Smith and the REAL registering agent is Ms. Hollis.) 🤔
#2. Similarly, ask the caller, “I don’t understand. I was just there last week/last month/last Monday to register a new vehicle and completed all my paperwork. Why didn’t the officer say something then?” 🤨
#3. In other words, know something that they don’t, and ask them about it. Throw them off their game and see what stupid answer they come up with. (In my experience with these scammers, you will find that they quickly escalate their tone and threats – with the hope that you will cave in. And, if that does not work, they will become angry 😡 and will become notably unprofessional by calling you “Stupid”, “an idiot”, etc.- a strong clue that they are not who they say they are.)

Year after year, this happens and my #1 question that NOBODY has ever answered for me is:


Please, someone, just f*cking please, give me a legit answer if you know it. I am suspecting that Megan’s Law database has been breached and nobody seems to know this yet.

The phone numbers of registered persons is NOT subject to public disclosure.

I had one of these calls when I lived in Florida. They couldn’t even pronounce my first name and there was a lot of static on the voicemail.

Seems like a 290 scam in San Diego, but they aren’t labeling as targeting 290’s but based on the details that is who is being targeted. Sheriff headquarters is where all and only registration happens for county residents.

About 2 years ago I got one of these calls on my business landline. The caller identified himself with name as a commander with the sheriff’s department. I knew it was a scam. They told me if I didn’t want to get arrested within the hour I need to go to a nearby Walmart and purchase an Amazon gift card and that I must remain on the line with them as I go to the store and do this. I said well you’ve called me on a landline, let me give you my cell so I can take it on the go… and instead of my number I gave them the number of the local PD and that I would stay on the line until my cell rings. A few moments went by and I said are you calling me yet? And he said yes, stand by. Then all of a sudden, {CLICK}.

This happened to me in the Bay Area too. Thankfully my wife was with me, because I freaked out!
Caller wanted $1,100 immediately to clear up bench warrant, for failure to register. He also had the lead detective, who handles registration processes for the county, stating “He was under federal investigation” – which I found doubtful, because he seemed like an upright guy every time I met him.

I placed the caller (who had background noise of radio communication, all the beeps of radios, etc), in hold while my wife called the County Sheriffs office…and found nothing wrong with my registration. We then told them what was happening, and they weren’t surprised. Lady on phone said, “This happens all the time” and hung up!

That was a BS response. If this happens all the time, how about informing all those who are trying to get their lives back? They have our address and know where to find me!

Huge question !! In Florida you stay on the registry DEAD or ALIVE, how is this possible. Families beg write, call and visit local state police to have their dead family members removed and are told, it will be passed along to the administrator. Try it, look at any city registry and you will find deceased almost immediately, unbelievable that families are not outside the capital with huge signs demanding registry be up to date. Neither I nor any family member is on the Florida registry, but as a concerned citizen I am outraged that this is tolerated. Let’s be honest, we don’t care until it’s in our backyard. How very sad we are so lazy in this area. I’m ready to make more phone calls and letters. I take direction from Janice.

It’s now close to the end of 2022 and these scammers might be getting more active for the holiday season. A few days ago, a friend of mine was called by one of these guys for the first time since he started registering. The caller first identified himself as “special agent” such and such from the sex offender’s registry division and claimed that my friend failed to register (which is false). The caller then used an aggressive tone along with fear tactics as he instructed my friend to go to the local Walmart and pick up $1,000 worth of gift cards and use them to pay his fines. First of all, the title “special agent” is normally reserved for the FBI. And I hope you all are smart enough to realize that fines aren’t imposed for failing to register. The police will just come and arrest you, or if they’re nice, they’ll call and ask what happened. Anyway, my buddy didn’t fall for it and even dared the caller to come get him, so the caller just hung up lol. I hope none of you reading this fall for this obvious scam. Stay safe, everyone.

Last edited 3 months ago by Free Agan