A lawsuit charges that a website claiming to be a national sex offender registry is really in a different business, one that involves shaking people down for money.
The class action charges that Sexoffenderin.com refuses to remove information, even when it's inaccurate, without a payment of up to $299, Courthouse News Service reported.
Lead plaintiff Terracazeno Talbert filed the suit in Jackson County, Missouri, claiming that the website had a profile of him containing his date of birth, address, a Google Map pinpointing his home and a photo of him with the words "sex offender" plastered across it.
Talbert says he has never been convicted of a sex offense but said that when he tried to have the profile removed, he was told he would have to pay.
Talbert claims the website has a link to request removal of information, but to do so costs $79 to $299. For $79 the information will be removed within 45 days; for $99 within 25 days; for $199 within six days; and for $299 within 24 hours, according to the complaint.
The owners of the site can't be identified because they have a "secret" domain registration that blocks their identity. Besides the site, the lawsuit names Special Domain Services, Go Daddy Operating Co. and Domains by Proxy, which the lawsuit says allow the defendants to register websites through them anonymously.
Sexoffenderin.com is a self-proclaimed national sex offender registry. It is not affiliated with federal government or any other agency. Users can search by name or by state and see photos and profile pages which publish alleged sex offenders' addresses, birth date and offenses, Talbert says.
When we visited the site, the "Record Removal" and "Removal Request" pages were inoperable. The rest of the site seemed to be functioning normally.