The IC3 has received hundreds of complaints from individuals claiming they located their mug shots on 20 different websites, all of which allegedly use similar business practices. Some victims reported they were juveniles at the time of the arrests and their records were sealed. Therefore, their information should not be available to the public. Others stated the information posted on the sites was either incorrect or blatantly false.
Complainants who requested to have their mug shot removed, had to provide a copy of their driver’s license, court record and other personal identifying information. However, providing such information puts those at risk for identify theft.
Complainants were also subject to paying a fee to have their mug shot removed. Although they paid the fee, some of the mug shots were not removed. If they were removed, the mug shots appeared on similar websites.
If the victim threatened to report the websites for unlawful practice, the websites’ owners threatened to escalate the damaging information against the victim.