Picture this - you’re awoken from a deep sleep at 3:00 AM to repeated calls from an unknown number. Still groggy, you fumble to the “answer” button and are met with distressing news - someone you love has committed a crime and they’re waiting behind bars for your help. Whether it’s a sobbing relative or authoritative stranger on the other end, this situation is more than enough to make your barely-awake mind start reeling.
News of a loved one’s arrest and incarceration is understandably upsetting. Even the most logical and discerning among us can be manipulated in our time of need. Scammers know this - and use that vulnerability to exploit others in their hour of need with higher rates of success. Don’t let them grab your hard-earned cash with calculated attempts to con you.
After decades in the bail bonding industry, Tayler Made Bail Bonding’s team of professionals have seen and heard it all. We’ve detailed a few textbook scams used by vultures to scam you in your hour of need so you can prepare with your wits about you - and be less likely to fall prey when you’re caught off guard.
Your phone rings, and you answer it. On the other end is a somber, authoritative voice. They mention your name and the name of a close relative - for instance, your brother - asking if they have the right person. When you confirm that the information they’ve provided is accurate, they state that your sibling has been arrested. They follow up immediately afterwards with the claim that they’re a bail bondsman and can help your relative get home.
If this happens, don’t be fooled. Hang up the phone and call the relative they claim is behind bars. If they don’t answer, call local jails and have them check whether said relative is in holding. If the original caller was telling the truth, authorities on the other end of these calls will confirm what cold callers claimed.
Cold callers bank on a few factors to make fast cash. They can easily find basic identifying information from public directories like whitepages. This is especially relevant if you have a relative with a history of addiction or criminal behavior, as so many Americans do. These scammers know that authoritatively providing starting information - and offering themselves as a rescuer - may overwhelm recipients enough to bypass their critical thinking that could otherwise prevail. Painful memories of a loved one’s arrest and related emotions may override your senses and the ability to think twice, which could prevail without those factors. Even if one in ten people are susceptible to these awful tactics, fast cash for every tenth call is enough for a conman to make a living.
The bail bonding process can be overwhelming at best. Whether you’re calling advertised bail agents or picking up your phone to the news of an alleged arrest, it’s natural to feel bogged down with the emotions and obligations in your immediate future. When self-professed “bail bondsmen” claim that they can process payments over the phone right away, you may be relieved by the opportunity to cross another errand off your list. However, no matter what an alleged authority claims, you CANNOT pay bail bonding fees without signing contracts in person. While we’d all love to get things done without trekking to a meeting, especially as COVID-19 rages on, claims to do so are exclusively attempts to steal your hard-earned cash.
If a stranger asks for payment information over the phone, be warned that you should NEVER provide it. Reputable bail bonding agencies are generally located near county jails, anticipating walk-in business or calls requesting immediate local meetups. While it may seem tempting to roll the dice and save an extra trip, it’s better to a little extra time than throw your money down the drain.
Bail bonding scammers know their market - and the weaknesses of those they target. These despicable predators occasionally standby in professional attire at local lockups, waiting for tearful relatives to burst through the doors to rescue their incarcerated loved ones. They’ll find someone in need of a white knight and burst into action authoritatively - introducing themself as a bondsman with offers of fast release for your family. Regardless of their technical credentials, this behavior is frowned upon at best and illegal in most cases. No respectable bondsman will linger in the halls to exploit you in your hour of need. Certified bail bondsmen have documentation of their credentials available upon request and reviews from recent clients affirming the completion of bail bonding services at the original, agreed-upon terms. Dealing with the arrest of a relative is difficult enough - don’t add illegal bonding attempts into the mix, even on the off chance of pure intention. Search online for bail bonding agents and check out their reviews and credentials before offering up your earnings to a stranger.
For more information on unfortunately common bail bonding scams, and tips to protect yourself from predatory conmen, check out our past article. To bypass scam artists entirely, call Tayler Made Bail Bonding when you learn of a loved one in trouble. We’re proud to have offered fast bail bonding at competitive rates for the past twelve years in Denver County and beyond. If your brother, mother, or anyone else you love gets arrested in the state of Colorado, we’re here to help 24/7. Contact us online for general questions or call (303) 623-0399 for immediate cash bail assistance from our compassionate, certified cash bail bonding team.