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Better Business Bureau Warns Of Sex Offender Database Scam

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Consumer advocates were warning about a new email scam designed to trick you into sharing your sensitive personal information.

The Better Business Bureau said the email scam purportedly promises to identify child sex predators in your community. However, anyone who gets the emails should not click on any of the links they find in them.

"If it's malware that they're looking to install, the secondary issue that we have on these type of scams is that they can take over your computer. They can get the personal information out of your computer," spokesman Tom Joyce said.


The links take users to a company that provides you with information about registered sex offenders who live near you, for a fee. Once you provide credit card information, the bad guys then have it.

Joyce said much of the information on child sex predators can be obtained for free through local law enforcement.

For example, Illinois has a sex offender database managed by the Illinois State Police. The Chicago Police Department also has a sex offender database on its CLEARMAP website.

If you should accidentally click on any of the emails, Joyce said you should "never provide any personal information, banking or financial information, or especially your social security number. And never wire transfer these people any money."

Joyce said these scams keep happening because some people really fall for them.

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