If you get a call from a relative requesting bail money, make sure the person is really in jail before you rush to their aid. Officials with the Starke County Sheriff’s Department say scammers are preying on local residents in an attempt to swindle money from them. The caller tells the potential victim they need money to get out of jail and will pay them back when they go to court.
If you get such a call, do not give any bank or credit card information to the caller. Instead, ask for the name of the jail, and tell the person you will call back. Hang up and call the jail yourself to check and see if your loved one is locked up. Scammers often ask for money to be sent via prepaid debit card or wire transfer. This is a red flag for a potential scam, as money sent by these methods is virtually untraceable. Sheriff’s department officials stress you should never give financial information to someone over the telephone. If you have been the victim of such a scam, notify the authorities right away.