Registered sex offender faces charges for scamming people online

Robert Thomas, 38, accused of stealing personal information

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A registered sex offender who police say masterminded a sophisticated scam on social media faces multiple charges.

According to the Better Business Bureau, victims are coming forward saying Robert Thomas scammed them.

Thomas, 38, was put on Florida's sex offender list in 2004 for lewd or lascivious exhibition with a victim under the age of 16. As part of his sex offender status, he's not supposed to be on social media at all, but according to the Better Business Bureau he's been online a lot, stealing money and peoples' personal information.

The website for Jacksonville based company Ebassador said it is looking for their next spokesperson for products that will ultimately benefit your health. For instance, it says a laboratory is looking for someone to represent their company, offering $2,500 for people to appear in online video ads. 

But according to the BBB, Thomas was the person behind the company and his real goal of obtaining social media users personal information. 

"You had to pay him some money and then give him your personal information, social security  number, date of birth, so he could run a background check," said Tom Stephens of the Better Business Bureau.

Stephens said the complaints are piling up against Thomas from social media users who turned over their personal information and money. The BBB says Thomas was using real companies products and images without their consent. Stephens said if you have a social media account, beware.  

"There's so much information shared by people who use those sites, so a good criminal can put together an entire persona and use that as ammunition against them to steal money, or get them to pay them money," Stephens said. 

Thomas had been on the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office radar for weeks, according to the BBB, and they said detectives were waiting to catch him committing a crime. Thomas has been charged with seven counts of failure to comply with sexual offender requirements. He is held on a $17,000 bond. 

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