Don’t be duped by scammers who call you and demand money

We have received reports that the DNA scam described in this post is still being perpetrated — so we’re posting this again.

  • Callers are breaking laws, including laws against extortion.
  • Do not fall for this scam.
  • Do not be frightened — law enforcement does not call and demand money.
  • Cases like these are good reasons to abolish the registry.
  • Listen to the voice of the scammer at the end of this post.

Law enforcement will NEVER call you on the phone and tell you to pay money to resolve an issue.

That goes for everyone, including people who are forced to register.

Nebraskans Unafraid recently heard from an individual who got a call from a scammer who used the Nebraska State Patrol’s registry to gather information about registrants, whom they call and attempt to extort money.

The scammers are violating several laws, including the law against extortion, when they engage in this bottom-feeding behavior.

In the case brought to our attention, the person who is forced to register received a phone call from a person claiming to be Nebraska State Patrol “Trooper Barnett.” The caller talked about the need for a “secondary” DNA sample. That’s a tipoff: No person forced to register is required to give such a “secondary” sample.

The caller, who used a spoofed phone number to make the call appear to be legit, attempted to frighten his victim by saying there was a felony warrant out, but the whole thing could be cleared up for the tidy little sum of $6,200.

Again: Law enforcement NEVER will call you up and tell you that you can clear up a problem by giving them money. Pay no attention to whether the phone number looks real, because scammers spoof the numbers.

Fortunately, the person who received this call was not duped. He reported the incident to law enforcement, and then to Nebraskans Unafraid.

“This is why the registry should not be public. It made me an easy and vulnerable target,” he wrote to Nebraskans Unafraid. He had the good sense to record the conversations. As a public service and an effort to out whoever is running this fraudulent scheme, we provide the recordings here with personal information bleeped out.

Here is the initial voicemail with the voice of the scammer:

Here is the call back to the scammer:

And here is where the scammer is told to shove it:

If you get a call like this, hang up and call law enforcement.

And remember to tell your state senator this is yet another reason to abolish the registry, which causes harm and protects no one.

Download The Perfect Bad Law and share it with your state senator:

Here are some other posts on scamming scum:

New phone scam

Scamming scum might call you — just hang up

Ineffective and unconstitutional

  • 10-year-old law journal article and a recent Florida newspaper column strike similar themes.
  • Common elements: Politicians pander to fear; registry should be abolished.
  • Sex-offense registry laws just don’t work, according to all of the research.

Whether it is a decades-old law journal article or a recent opinion piece in the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times, there is agreement:

Sex-offense registry laws don’t work. And they are unconstitutional. A theme common to both the law review and the newspaper: Politicians pander to fear.

Then why do we have such laws? The Florida newspaper’s column answers:

These policies exist as a governmental response to community fear and outrage. There is political pressure to increase public safety. The problem is that these laws were enacted very quickly after child murder cases and became wide-reaching governmental mandates without research to back their existence and effectiveness. Fast forward 25 years, and the public and politicians are relying on window-dressing to feel safe.

The column in the Tampa Bay Times is headlined Sex offender registry laws don’t work. Here’s what might. The subheading says, “The uncomfortable truth? Those who commit sexual offenses are usually not strangers.”

The column was written by Meghan M. Mitchell (; @MeghanMMitchell), assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Florida; Kristen M. Zgoba (, assistant professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida International University; Alex R. Piquero (; @DrAlexPiquero), chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology and Arts & Sciences Distinguished Scholar at the University of Miami.

They write:

“A new study of ours shows that these policies are not effective in deterring crime or protecting citizens. We summarized 25 years of research and 474,640 formerly incarcerated sex offenders. We found that such policies do not reduce sexual or non-sexual recidivism.”

Read the Tampa Bay Times column here.

Going back a decade, the 2012 Hastings Law Journal article by Southwestern Law School Professor Catherine L. Carpenter and then-J.D. candidate Amy E. Beverlin, condemns as unconstitutional the aptly labeled super-registration schemes (such as Nebraska’s law after the passage of LB 285 in 2009).

The HLJ article’s introduction says:

“. . . this Article posits that, even if sex offender registration schemes initially were constitutional, serially amended sex offender registration schemes — what this Article dubs super-registration schemes — are not. Their emergence demands reexamination of the traditionally held assumptions that defined original registration laws as civil regulations.

“Two intertwined causes are responsible for the schemes’ constitutional downfall. The first is a legislative body eager to draft increasingly harsh registration and notification schemes to please an electorate that subsists on a steady diet of fear.

“When combined with the second cause, a Supreme Court that has yet to signal much-needed boundaries, the ensuing consequence is runaway legislation that is no longer rationally connected to its regulatory purpose. Ultimately, this Article is a cautionary tale of legislation that has become unmoored from its constitutional grounding because of its punitive effect and excessive reach.”

Read the HLJ article here.

The registry does not protect anyone

  • Registry protects no one from sexual assault.
  • The registry does do massive harm while it is protecting no one.
  • The registry encourages vigilantes and vandals.
  • The registry should be abolished.

The Nebraska sex offense registry does nothing to protect anyone — not even state senators.

We urge the Legislature to recognize this and reconsider the utility of the registry. It does not prevent sex crimes; it does not protect the public.

In February, when allegations of Senator Groene’s misconduct arose, several women of the Legislature told stories of assaults they had suffered. The registry did not protect those women, either. The registry does not protect or prevent.

What does the registry do? It gives permission to the community to discriminate against people listed there. It is difficult for a family to find housing when their address will be on the registry. It is difficult for a parent to support his or her family when employers refuse to hire someone listed on the registry. It is difficult for a family to worship together when a church insists on singling out the member who is listed, sometimes prohibiting their attendance at services.

The registry makes it easy for vandals and vigilantes to target people whose address is on the registry. We saw that happen when Omahan Mattieo Condoluci was murdered in May 2020 and when Steven Weaver was killed near McCook in October of the same year.

It is time for the Legislature to end the registry.