NCRSOL Staff — As COVID19 continues to spread, health officials are encouraging people to skip the traditional Black Friday shopping frenzy, and shop online this year. However, the Better Business Bureau has a warning before clicking add to cart, saying online shopping scams have spiked since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This also means that this season is ripe for scammers posing as law enforcement officers targeting people on the sex offender registry. “The registry has harmed the people listed rather than providing safety to the community”, said Dwayne Daughtry, NCRSOL Executive Director. Daughtry went on to say, “Each time a registrant provides internet identifiers and other information stored on a computer it has the potential in becoming compromised. Who is to say information hasn’t been compromised recently or long ago?”
Current federal law exempts law enforcement from alerting the general public of data breaches of law enforcement based data. A bill was introduced to congress in 2017 to amend that law. But it failed in committee.
This holiday season is unique that online purchasing power along with internet, phone, postal, and texting orders are in high demand. Quick convenience also is a recipe for fraud and complicated scams. The constant change of COVID19 conditions has been somewhat of an information overload that has created and continues to create confusion.
The federal government has suggested to report telephone scams and ID spoofing to the Federal Trade Commision by calling 1-877-382-4357. If you think you have been contacted that might be a sex offense related scam, most police departments have advised that you call them directly at their non-emergency number rather than contacting the telephone number on the letter, flyer, voice mail, or email you received. Allowing police to research and receive a report of potential scams so that they may document as much information as possible to hopefully put an end to it or raise issue that scams are targeted in their jurisdiction.
The holiday season is quickly approaching. Please take extra precautions as to not being victim to scam artists or sex offense related scams.