Bail bondsman warns of scam making the rounds
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A scam involving bail bonds is making the rounds. These people scare you into giving them money over the phone.
Normally when Mo Harper, owner of Authority Bail Bonds, answers the phone the person on the other line needs help bailing their loved one out of jail.
"We basically have them come down and walk them through the process. They would pay us usually a 10 percent fee and we will go post their bond and all they do is promise they will show up for court," said Mo Harper, Owner of Authority Bail Bonds.
Over the past month, nearly half a dozen calls Harper has received have had nothing to do with bail bond.
"I have gotten at least four calls from various people trying to verify agents they say work with me. All the ones they name I have no knowledge of," said Harper.
Last week his suspicions a scam was circulating were verified when one of his agents made contact with a caller who claimed his son was in jail.
"He was told he needed to send some money asap through a green dot card. What really was the red flag is he had an email similar to our email. The agent basically held him on the phone a little longer to get more information as he could, before he busted him and told him his son wasn't in jail and he knew he was a scam artist and the individual hung up," said Harper.
Tony Garrett with Central Alabama CrimeStoppers has been contacted by other bail bond companies experiencing the same thing.
"These scams are quite common," said Garrett.
Garrett says the scammers are strategic.
"That is what they want you to do. They want you to be panicked, upset, and out of your element," said Garrett.
In an effort to make sure you don't fall victim to these scammers claims, Harper has a very specific reminder to the public.
"If someone calls you and tells you someone in jail you need to verify it first of all. Before we put up any money we want someone to sign a contract saying they will be responsible for the bond amount in case he/she skips. If you don't sign anything don't send anything," said Harper.
CrimeStoppers says while it is hard to track down the scammers, if you do receive a call you can contact local law enforcement to alert them.
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