PALMYRA, Mo. | The Marion County Sheriff's Office along with the Missouri Sex Offender Registry has been receiving information from offenders and neighboring county registries about a phone scam targeting registered sex offenders in Missouri.
The scam started in other states as early as February 2019 to extort money from offenders. When the registered sex offender is contacted, the caller claims to be a sex offender compliance officer and in one specific case, identified themselves as Sheriff Jimmy Shinn. The caller uses a specific officer's name associated with a law enforcement agency within the specific area. The caller then informs the registered sex offender they are non-compliant because they failed to submit a “second” sample of DNA and will be arrested on a warrant. They go on to explain that the warrant will be recalled if they pay a certain fee using pre-paid gift cards.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office wants to remind the public that law enforcement officials do not conduct warrant arrests in these methods. Answers to questions about this issue are available by contacting officials at the local law enforcement agency — officials encourage reaching out before providing any form of personal information or payment details.