Fake bond phone scam targets Omaha subway sex offenders
OMAHA, Nebraska (Nebraska) – Here’s a number that might shock you.
There are 6,655 registered sex offenders in Nebraska. In the past couple of weeks, some of them have received phone calls threatening to be sent back to prison. But it’s not law enforcement that threatens.
“I gave my debt to society,” said one of the victims, who asked not to be shown on TV.
But his name and photo are on the sex offender registry and can be seen by everyone, including the scammer who called him posing as a law enforcement officer.
“(It said) that you missed your federal smear date today. So either you have to be arrested and go to jail, or you have to pay a provisional bail,” he said.
Sarpi County Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Arko is tracking 336 delinquents. One of them, a woman, reported a phone call from a fake police officer claiming she had missed a DNA swab.
“The last person who bought into it got $2,500 and they said it was collateral and she went to a bitcoin machine in Omaha to send the money,” Arko said.
Paying fake bail via bitcoin or cash cards is what sex offenders are told to do to avoid going to jail.
“I was scared,” said the offender. “I was afraid that someone would come to my house and arrest me and send me back to jail for something I didn’t even know I had.”
The Nebraska State Patrol maintains a registry and tells 6 On Your Side that six offenders have complained that scammers with arrest warrants have targeted them.
Even though the registry does not include a phone number, scammers can find a lot of information there, from their date of birth to their exact address and even the car they drive.
Sex offenders give a DNA sample when they first register, so it’s worth checking out the call threatening that they missed a second swab.
“I got dozens of calls from people at the Sarpi County registry asking me if this was true, and I used to tell them, ‘Hey, if you get a call, call me first,’” Arko said.
Before paying the bail, the delinquent 6 News was talking to called back the number – it was switched off. So this criminal did not lose money, but, according to him, he could well, because of the fear of losing his freedom again and going to prison again.
“Other prisoners view any form of sex offender as the lowest of the lowest crimes, the worst of the worst,” he said. “I’ll be a target no matter what.”
Registered sex offenders in Sarpa County may soon receive a letter from a real MP warning them of the scam and that law enforcement will never take money to cancel the warrant.
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