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Be Wary of Callers Offering Information About Sexual Offenders

State police are advising Pennsylvanians to be wary of services that call consumers and offer, for a fee, to provide information about sexual offenders living in the individual's community.

"Under Megan's Law, Pennsylvania's sexual offender registration information is maintained by state police and disseminated only to criminal justice agencies," State Police Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller said.

He said the department has fielded several phone calls recently from Pennsylvania residents who say they've received recorded phone messages about a service that promises to provide information about local sexual offenders for a yearly fee of $19.95.

"The state police does not support or endorse the use of such fee-based services for sex offender information and cautions that the accuracy of any information provided by such a service is questionable," Col. Miller said.

He noted that under Megan's Law, no public notification or release of sexual offender registration information is permitted except when a court has determined that an individual is a sexually violent predator. In those cases, police departments conduct community notification when the individual moves into a neighborhood.

In addition, state police maintain a web site (www.psp2.state.pa.us/svp/index.htm) through which the public can access information on sexually violent predators at no charge.

Col. Miller said that information is intended for community safety purposes only and should not be used to threaten, intimidate, harass or commit a criminal act against any listed individual.

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