Blackmail scheme portrays innocent men as predators - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Blackmail scheme portrays innocent men as predators

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

The dating scene can be difficult for some and that's why many are now turning to websites like Craigslist to post an advertisement for companionship. That's what Raymond Carmiciano of Houston said he did.

Carmiciano says, "I'm a single guy and I'm on a dating site and I've been on Craigslist...I've met a few ladies and I sucker out on dates and try one."

Carmiciano believes his information was eventually lifted from Craigslist and placed on this website...Predators Watch. Raymond says he received an email he believes from the actual website indicating he was on it. He says the site makes him look like a convicted sexual predator. Here's why? On this same site where you can find Raymond's photo and information there are actual convicts' photos who are sex predators.

The website has been tracked back to Sweden and possibly a man of Nigerian decent.

Carmiciano says, "how do you get a hold of these people...because they're completely bogus."

Bogus or not I took a look at the site and during my search I found dozens of mainly males from Houston listed on Predator Watch.

Now why would someone post individuals pictures on a website and call them predators? The dollar. Here's the catch. In order for you to get off the website all you need to do is click a button and pay $99 dollars.

Jason Fowell is a Houston attorney who specializes in civil litigation. He says the website is a nightmare for those who end up on it listed as predators. People who are not actually sex offenders or predators of any kind.

Fowell says, "modern day extortion is what it is now we have a website to put your picture on it with a bunch of criminals and I think it's extortion that they ask you for $100...for a $100 we will remove you from this website."

The website is so bold it tells readers don't think about suing because the owner can't be held responsible for what appears on it. They say because they take public submissions and the information won't always be correct.

Fowell says, "they kind of invite you to sue them it's pretty aggressive it's pretty cavalier but you can see the can of worms that can be open if anyone can put out a release saying we're not liable we can do whatever we want you can imagine everyone would be doing that."

That simply means you can sue Predators Watch...the key is tracking down the owner and having the money to hire an attorney which Raymond says he can't afford.

So far we have not been able to reach the owners of the website but as of Friday afternoon the site was offline.

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