Last week, I received a call from an 82-year-old woman who was told her grandson was in jail. The con-artist who called tried to steal $9000 from her in the guise that it was for bail money. I am glad she called because she became the victim of what I like to call the "family member has been arrested scam."
I explained to her that bonding companies do not call people this way. People in jail call friends and family on the outside. Then, those people outside of jail call a bonding company. It is understandable that someone unfamiliar with the criminal justice system would be unaware of how things work.
As I told her, it turned out her grandson was not in jail. Once contacted, the scam was revealed. She was very thankful, and I was angry. This scam is a variation on the scam where someone receives an email from a family member allegedly stuck in Europe with no way to return.
Remember the following Admonitions to Protect Yourself From Being Scammed:
Never provide money to anyone who claims someone is in jail until his or her incarceration is verified. Almost every Georgia Jail has an online jail docket with all persons listed.
Always consult an attorney before posting bond. Many times a Georgia DUI Attorney can recommend the best or fastest way to post bond.
Use your common sense. When someone you love is arrested, it is extremely emotional. If something sounds untruth or strains credulity, it is likely untrue.
Do not post bond for someone you cannot trust unless you are willing to risk losing whatever you have posted. If cousin Saul has let you down several times before, maybe you should leave him in jail; caveat emptor.
Essentially, do not leave your common sense at the door when someone is in jail. Call an attorney for advice, and do not be cheated by someone claiming they are trying to help.
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