You are aware of the resources you can use to locate registered sex offenders in your area, and maybe you’ve taken advantage of those resources when researching your neighborhood. However, these online registries may not be as accurate or as reliable as you hoped because some sex offenders are using identity theft to avoid detection.
Sex offenders are finding ways to fly under the radar and avoid mandatory monitoring by masking their identities with the identities of innocent citizens. They manipulate their names, use identity information from family members, use a variety of aliases, and – worst of all – steal personal identifying information (PII) such as Social Security numbers and birth dates.
When these dangerous criminals succeed in hiding themselves, they are free to live near playgrounds and schools. They can even gain illegal employment because, as far as the employer is concerned, the person they’ve just hired is an ordinary candidate. While the offender is reaping the benefits of a fraudulently clear criminal record, the person with the stolen identity remains at risk.
A True Story
In Texas, one man endured decades of living with a compromised identity. Marcus Calvillo, 46, was just a teenager when undocumented immigrant Fernando Neave-Ceniceros, now 41, stole his Social Security number to cover his own identity and immigrant status.
Throughout the following 20-plus years, Neave-Ceniceros committed various crimes under Calvillo’s name, including sex offenses with underage victims. When he was eventually caught for one of his crimes, Neave-Ceniceros had to give his fingerprints to the authorities. However, those fingerprints were not connected to his real identity but to the innocent teen from Grand Prairie, thus tying the hapless Calvillo to Neave-Ceniceros’s criminal record for the next several years.
Still a teen, Calvillo began to catch wind of the situation when he was falsely accused of writing bad checks and failing to pay for parking tickets he never received.
When he reached his twenties and couldn’t get a job, Calvillo requested a clerk at a temporary employment agency to tell him why they refused to hire him. In that moment, Calvillo discovered he had a well-developed criminal record.
The record grew, and things got worse for Calvillo.
He lost his house, marriage, jobs and an opportunity to get a cosmetology license after he had already put himself through cosmetology school.
It wasn’t until 2013 that Calvillo found a solution to his dire problem. The Associated Press ran a report on a Houston teacher, Candida Gutierrez, who fell victim to identity theft. Calvillo contacted Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson, the prosecutor in Gutierrez’s case, and asked for help.
“I don’t know of a case where the theft of an identity had a more devastating impact than this one,” Anderson told the Dallas Morning News.
After years of defaming Calvillo’s character, Neave-Ceniceros was finally indicted in 2015 for aggravated identity theft, making a false statement to the government, misuse of a Social Security number and a false claim of U.S. citizenship.
This legal victory was the first step among many in the long, arduous journey to restore Calvillo’s identity and reputation.
Calvillo’s nightmare began with a stolen Social Security number, and it progressed the longer he went without knowing his identity had been compromised.
With iLOCK360, you can protect yourself against the threat of offenders like Neave-Ceniceros committing crimes in your name.
Our Sex Offender Monitoring provides a report of all registered sex offenders living within a defined radius in your zip code and alerts you when a new sex offender moves in. Additionally, iLOCK360 notifies you if a sex offender fraudulently registers using your identity elements.
Another way to stay aware of sex offenders and other criminals using your personal credentials is arming yourself with identity and credit monitoring. For more information on how iLOCK360 can help keep you safe, view our How It Works page.