Having been operating this site for over several years I have learned a lot about the various scams that a Woman BehindBars has attempted and I want to try and arm you with Penpal Warningsthat will give some knowledge that might help you avoid problems.
First you need to keep it in mind that these ladies are in prison and most for good reason.
Here are some of the problems we have encountered:
There is no way that I can verify everything that these ladies tell me but I have developed certain practices that cut down and help me catch some of them.
- FAKE PICTURES
- OLD PICTURES
- UNDERSTATING HER AGE
- SHORTING HER RELEASE DATE
- LYING ABOUT HER RACE
- LYING TO GET MONEY
Every week I will call a number of men who have purchase addresses between 30 and 45 days ago. I represent as doing a quality control survey and ask questions about the service, the ladies they have made contact with and what sort of shape the contact have taken. Typically I hear questions, that while they might not call me about, since I called them they ask. I sometimes hear things that just don't set right with me and warrant further investigation.
I then will pull a list of the men that have bought her address around the same time. I then call each and directing the conversation around to the lady without alerting them to maybe something is wrong. When I start hearing the same stories from a number of different men I make a decision what to do and that depends on what they ladies are up to, at the very least they are removed from the service.
If they are trying to commit fraud I will make a copy of their application and the web page and sent it to the officials at the prison, trying to get her in as much trouble as possible. I want to send a message to the ladies that they will get caught and when they do I will do my best to get them more time or a loss of good time. This works because in states where we have had the program for a longer period of time we have less ladies trying to cheat. The new states are always the worse in the beginning. But once we catch a few and the word gets pasted around that we will catch them and they will get in trouble. I have seen situations like in NC where a large number of black ladies were passing themselves off as white. I caught 2 of them and turned them in, within the next week I had 9 new ladies from that state send me request to be removed, that is highly unusual.
I had contact with a gentleman who had been told by a lady that I had mistaken placed the wrong picture on her profile. She was concerned that when he found out what she truly looked like he would not like her. He made contact with me so that I could correct the problem. This mistake is impossible for me to make, we require each picture be signed on the back by the lady. When we open one envelope we assign a number, writing it on the envelope, the back of the picture, and the application itself.
Here are some stories I have heard:
I broke my roommates TV and I am going to get a write up and lose good time if I don't replace it, please send so & so 100 dollars.
I heard this one to late and he sent 50 dollars. He called me when she told him she had broken a window and had to pay for it before a certain day or go to the hole. Lie, if she had accidentally broken it they would have done nothing, if she had done it on purpose she would be written up and subject to a loss of good time or the hole no matter what, and in most cases, required to pay for it..
I was sentenced to 6 months and a 1,500 fine and can be released as soon as I pay the fine.
They do not send you to a state prison for anything less than a year and a day, and no release if you pay your fine or restitution, they give you parole or probation and expect you to pay the restitution or fines after you are released.
I can get out if I file an appeal, please send the money to my mother:
More than 90% of all appeals are turned down and never even make it into a formal court setting. If you believe in someone and want to send money to a lawyer, then you should do the following. Contact the lawyer, make sure there is an appeal in progress and that money is needed. Verify with the state bar association that this person is a real lawyer, before you send money.
I have been granted an early release, send money for a plane ticket to so & so:
This is wonderful news and does happen, and if you want that person to come to you, call the airlines and buy a ticket in her name that can not be cashed in by anyone but you and require an ID be shown to collect the ticket. All prisons provide Temporary ID to a newly released person, so don't fall for the I have no ID so use a code word.
I bought a package permit from another girl, please send this list of items to her, for me.
All prison inventory all personal items in a ladies possession and if she is found to have items not on her list they are taken and the lady is written up. A lot of prisons require a name be sewn into the clothing, or some how marked, as to prove ownership. As I hear others I will add to this list. Prison officials will tell you the ladies are given everything they need.
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