Consumers Beware of Bail Bond Scams
The last type of phone call you expect is someone calling you to get them out of jail. However, another type of phone call you may receive is from someone trying to pull a scam on you. They may tell you that your child or another family member has been arrested and you need to get them released immediately by wiring money to them.
While you may want to help and act immediately, don’t rush to send that money. Beware and suspicious of these types of phone calls.
Important Tips To Avoid Bail Bond Scams
Reputable bail bond companies will not call you unsolicited. Typically, the person calling you will be the one who has been arrested who needs you to locate a bail bondsman to get them released from jail.
Do your homework. If for some reason a bail agent does make contact with you, be sure to conduct research and make sure of their legitimacy. There are some bondsmen who will get booking information unlawfully and then try to solicit bail from you. This is illegal.
Never wire any money to someone without completing the proper paperwork from the agent. Make a phone call to the agent and get more details or further understanding of exactly what is happening. Be sure you understand everything in detail and that you are speaking with a reputable company.
If you feel you have received a call from someone who claims to be a family member, follow up with calling them back. You might even try texting them to see if they are in fact the one who called. If you cannot reach them, call another family member for verification.
Be aware of someone who says they offer “cheap bail bonds“. Some may offer a percentage of 5%, instead of the legal amount in California of 10%. If you make this deal, you might be a bit surprised when you find out the bail company will take that 5% in credit or cash as a down payment and then finance the rest with interest. Don’t fall for this scam. It’s illegal and misleading.
Never fall for the bail agents who are soliciting business directly from the jail. State laws stipulate how bail agents can gather new business. They are not allowed to offer bail services from jail and there are some that will ignore this law. They stand a chance of losing their license and could face jail time and felony charges.
Before you enter into an agreement with a bail bond agent, be sure to protect yourself and conduct proper research, call the company, check references, see if they are members of the BBB, find out how long they have been in business, and check the California Department of Insurance.
By following the above tips you will arm yourself with the proper education and resources to keep you or a family member from falling into this scam. When you hire a legitimate and trusted bail bond agent, you can be sure you’re working with the top professionals in the business.
To speak to a licensed and reputable California bondsman, call Tonya Page Bail Bonds at 1-877-861-3761.