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Fake photos. Is it possible?

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Stepanovna's picture
Fake photos. Is it possible?

Hello everyone. I have a few questions.

Is it possible for an inmate to set up a profile on and have fake pictures on their profile, pictures of somebody else? I know there is a field on each profile that shows if the photos of an inmate are verified or not.

Is it possible for an inmate to use another offender's name and #number to write to a pen pal? 

I'm asking these questions because I've been talking to someone from Texas and I just feel like my address was possibly traded to somebody else because I get a certain vibe from the person's profile and a quite different one from the person who I've been talking to. However, the name on the envelope is the same as the name on the profile. Maybe it's just in my head but I'd still like to know the answers to my questions above.

ST4s's picture

Hey Stepanovna, hmmm… Lemme guess – your catfish detector is going off. Before I get to your questions, let me say I’ve put legitimate profiles on here for a couple of my buds, so, I’m somewhat familiar with the moving parts.

Re: photos, some jurisdictions have these on their inmate locator websites. Some don’t. For the ones that do, WAP can verify the photos before a profile goes live (it takes at least a week for a profile to go live once everything’s uploaded and paid for, presumably while the information is vetted by WAP staff). For non-mug-shot photos that can’t be verified, sure, one could upload a random someone, but the cost of putting up a profile creates a barrier to entry which kind of discourages mischief like that. Is it possible? Sure. But is it likely? Not very.

Re: an inmate using another’s name and number to correspond? This is also unlikely due to the way mail is handed out in prisons. Inmates A and B would have to trade such letters after mail call, meaning, they’d have to be in the same cell, or block, and never be transferred, never be locked down, never go to the hole, blah, blah, blah, and then there’s this: mail is like gold. Why would anyone go to such extraordinary lengths just to give it away?

If you’re looking for confirmation bias to explain your vibe, I’ve got zero to offer.

What’s more likely, IMHO, is the discrepancy between the twenty-or-so drafts someone probably crumpled up and threw away before writing their final bio, vs. that first-draft letter you got. There could be other explanations too, e.g., new stresses, mental health things (I swear, one of my buds is tri-polar, but he jokes about it), having a bad day, having a great day, and so on. I’d say roll with it and see what happens, but keep your spidey senses up. Good luck!


Stepanovna's picture

Thank you very much! I appreciate.