I never fall for scams. But even this one had me convinced for a bit.
Before I share this cautionary tale, I will say that I'm keeping the party involved anonymous. But this person is close to me. While on vacation, they received a call that they had a warrant out for their arrest. Sounds crazy, right?
Well, the phone number checked out as the police station from they city from which they lived and that they failed to appear at a court date after being served papers back in January. Now, the address they served was an old address that the person used to live at.
The "officer" on the phone said they either needed to pay a bond or turn themselves into a local police station for arrest. OH, and this was on a Saturday.
The person was never served, notified, etc. What's more, they said the judge put a "suppression order" on the case and they could not share this info with anyone.
The victim asked how to send a bond, the "officer" said drive to Wells Fargo to send the $6,000 needed. It did sound convincing to the person. The "officer" said all of the right things. And they needed to catch a flight home in the next day, so they didn't want to end up not being able to due to a warrant.
They got in a car and the "officer" asked for the last 3 digits of the odometer and how many miles til they arrived, staying on the phone the entire time. The victim asked what police station they could turn themselves in at and the "officer" gave the address on the furthest side of town. He said it would be easier to just post the bond, but this victim insisted on just turning themselves in. This "officer" tried to talk the victim out of it the entire 30 minute drive to the police station, name dropping officers, giving his badge number...it all checked out.
Once the victim arrived at the police station, it was closed. It was Saturday, after all. The "officer" said law enforcement is 24/7 and an officer needed to find another officer to meet them at the door for booking. While waiting, he kept trying to get the victim to change their mind and drive to the bank to post bond. The victim denied that plea and waited for the officer. After about 10 minutes of waiting, the scammer just hung up. The end.
You ever hear the saying "if it's too good to be true, it probably is." The same can be true for something bad. I've heard a similar scam targeting the elderly with a loved one needing to post bail. Be warned, it could happen to you next. Learn from this experience, because in the moment it certainly seemed legit.