When a family member is arrested and put under police custody, friends and relatives become worried and will be willing to do anything to have the person released on bail or bond. Therefore, they are going to do anything possible to this end. It is at this state of desperation that they become more susceptible to bail scams, also known as grandparent scams. How does one avoid these scams? What are some of the red flags that can indicate that you need to be more cautious?
Tips that indicate you might be getting scammed:
- The bondsman gives you a huge discount
- Avoid in-jail solicitations
- Avoid agents who cold-call
- Ensuring that there is proper paperwork
Tip 1: Huge discounts from the bondsman
Whereas bond companies charge some fees for their services, this fee is set and should therefore not be too low when compared to the lawfully acceptable minimums. A company that offers very huge discounts is suspect and this should be a red flag to note.
Tip 2: In Jail solicitations
Active solicitations of any nature are not allowed. Whether a company is doing solicitations in jail or outside of jail is a sign of a bond and bail scam. Legitimate bail and bond companies do not do this and one should beware of a company that does it.
Tip 3: Avoid agents that cold call
State laws prohibit agents from calling potential clients. If an agent cold calls you and tells you that they want to assist in bond or bail for a loved one, beware of such and take it for a scam.
Tip 4: Ensure there is proper paperwork before making payments
Before you sign any contract with the bail and bond company, ensure that there is proper paperwork. You can even do your own research before you entrust any company with your money. Ensure they have the right papers and make payments only when you are assured of the legitimacy of doing so.