SCAM ALERT: State Police Warn Public of Phone/Bail Scam
During the month of January 2023, Troopers assigned to Troop E in Montville were dispatched to a residence in eastern Connecticut for the report of a larceny. The caller reported that they had lost over $10,000.00 as the result of a phone scam.
Upon speaking with responding troopers, the two elderly victims explained that they had received a telephone call earlier that same day from an individual claiming to be a representative from a state agency. Using the correct first and last name of one of the victims’ relatives, the individual explained that the relative was being held in custody at a location over an hour away from the victims’ residence, after allegedly being involved in a motor vehicle accident. The individual advised the victims that they must provide bond money that same day in order to have the relative released from custody. Over the course of additional calls, a plan was made to have the victims deliver the bond money through a courier service that the scammers arranged for. The victims gathered up the specified amount of bond money and were told by the scammers to not discuss the matter with anyone, in the interest of safety. A short time later, a courier arrived at the victims’ residence, took the bond money from the victims, and departed from the area.
Approximately 30 minutes later, the relative who the scammers had claimed was being held in custody arrived at the victims’ residence. Realizing that they had been scammed, the victims immediately called State Police. Troopers and Detectives were able to mobilize quickly and recovered a portion of the victims' money, but are still working to identify the individuals responsible for this telephone scam.
Scams such as these can happen to anyone, but often target senior citizens,
If you receive a phone call from an unfamiliar person who is telling you that a relative is in custody, take steps to contact that relative directly and/or other members of their immediate family who can help you determine if you are being targeted by scammers.
If you have been instructed to not speak with anyone about a transfer of cash or other items of monetary value, consider it to be a warning sign that this may NOT be a legitimate, legal request.
Never give out your banking information, credit card numbers, your social security number, medical insurance information, or other personal identifying information without first confirming that the request is legitimate. This can be done by making a direct call to the official telephone number of the banking institution, medical provider or government agency to confirm that they are the true source of the request.
Legitimate government agencies will not request that fees, fines or bail bonds be paid with gift cards, cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoin), through an ATM machine, or by wire-transfer.
A loss of thousands of dollars can be devastating for members of our community with limited resources. If you have loved ones at risk of being targeted, please emphasize to them the importance of confirming requests for money or personal information with banks and/or government agencies to reduce the risk of them being victimized by scammers.
Please contact law enforcement as soon as possible if you discover that you have become the victim of a scam.