The Bossier City Police Department is advising residents to be aware of a telephone scam that has surfaced and appears to target older people. In this particular scam, the caller claims to be a bail bondsman or law enforcement officer from out of state who says a relative, usually a grandchild, is in jail and needs money wired to them so they can bond them out.
The Bossier City Police Department has had about seven calls about this scam since last week. Fortunately most of the "targeted victims" immediately recognized the calls for what they are - a scam. However one victim was taken for $700. In all these cases, the caller used the real name of a relative which they likely acquired via social media.
Here are some tips to keep in mind to avoid becoming a victim to a scam like this:
- Resist the pressure to act quickly.
- Try to contact your grandchild or another family member to determine whether or not the call is legitimate.
- Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an e-mail...especially overseas. Wiring money is like giving cash-once you send it, you can't get it back.
- Law enforcement agencies will not solicit money from you over the phone. If you receive a call like this, hang up the phone, look up the phone number for the law enforcement agency that the person on the line claims to be from, and call them back for verification (do not get the number from the person you are talking to, as they might give you a fake number to call).