If you have recently posted a bond or are planning to do so, it is important to be aware there is a scam being used to con unsuspecting families. A scammer claims to work for a bail agent and contacts you after you’ve posted bond for a family member. They tell you that your loved one is facing additional charges and there is now an additional bond, charge, or fine that must be paid for their release. Sometimes the scammer claims this fine is an “employee clerical error.” Armed with advanced technology and freedom of information laws, these scammers are successful because they play on emotions. If this scam has happened to you or a family member, please contact your local law enforcement agency.
Often another additional con is then used after you have wired the money. They will now offer to have the charges “go away” for a cash fee. (No one can get charges dropped for a fee and if you do find someone in the system that is offering to do so notify your local F.B.I office.) They will suggest meeting at a restaurant or parking lot and when you give them the cash they will tell you to go to the jail and wait for the defendant’s release. When you arrive you will find that no bond has been posted and when you try to call the “bond agent” you will find that the phone is a burner phone.
Be wary of a different bail agent or agency from the one you worked with contacting you. If you are unsure that the fees being asked for are appropriate or if you are dealing with a legitimate agent, contact your original bail agency or call local law enforcement.
Bail bondsmen will normally only meet at their office and don’t conduct business in parking lots. State law requires that anyone posting a bond (original or additional) needs to physically come to a bond office to fill out paperwork. If you receive unsolicited calls from anyone making these claims, it is extremely important to verify their credibility by performing a little research before sending any money. Cross-reference the telephone numbers and company information with the Department of Financial Services.
Don’t allow yourself, friends or family members become a victim of this “additional charges” scam. If you have any questions about this scam or other questions about bail bonds, contact us today and let us help you and your family.