Lebanon Police are once again seeing renewed activity in bail scams. The Bail Scam usually involves a late‐night phone call that targets an older person. The caller will usually represent themselves in one of three ways:
- As a relative of the intended victim;
- As an official with a court or law enforcement agency who has supposedly arrested a relative of the intended victim; or,
- The person will use a common name such as “John” or “Dave.”
The caller will claim to be under arrest, or will say they have a person related to the victim in their custody. They will ask the intended victim for money to either be wired to the caller, or they will request a debit or credit card number to gain access to cash. The caller will say their intent is to use the money for bail. Usually the requested amount is anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars. The caller will ask the victim to not tell other family members. If successful, the caller may even call back a second time claiming to need more money to get their passport back from authorities and return home.
These are NOT standard law enforcement procedures. Legitimate courts and law enforcement agencies do not take money wired to them, nor do they take a debit or credit card number over the phone.
Suggestions to prevent this type of scam are:
- Resist the temptation to act immediately
- Know with whom you are speaking
- Check with other family members before sending any money