Common Bail Bond Scams Used by Dishonest Bail Bond Agents
The best way that you can protect yourself against unscrupulous bail bond agents is to know the common bail bond scams that they use on their unsuspecting victims. By knowing their common tactics, you can easily protect yourself or your loved one who is in jail from money and collateral loss, identity theft, and more trouble with the law.
An Unexpected Call
Booking information can easily be accessed online. If you know the information you need, you'll soon have the details. Unfortunately, unscrupulous bail bondsmen also use the internet to look for unsuspecting victims. They do some research, obtain booking information, and call the loved ones listed on the record, offering them very cheap bail bond cost. Since the relatives need to get their loved ones out of jail, they'll go for the cheap price. What they don't know though is that they didn't really get the service at a cheap cost. They thought they're only paying 5% of the total bail amount when, in fact, they've blindly signed a contract that states the 5% was just an initial payment.
Swindlers and con artists also make use of call tactics to trick elderly people into parting with their money. What they do is to visit elderly people or give them a call. They'll say that one of their loved ones is in jail for a crime, and to get him out, a bail amount should be paid to the court. Because the elderly wants to help, he'll give the swindler money for bail. The fake bail bond agent will then take the money, make some promises that he's going to get the relative out of jail, and run, never to be heard from again.
An Unexpected Offer
Another very common scam used by many bail bond agents as well as agencies is the 5% bail bond cost that has been mentioned earlier. The bail bond cost in most states is set at 10% of the bail amount total, and this percentage is determined by the State Department of Insurance. Little can be done for the bail bond cost of 10%, so there's no way for the agent to offer a lower rate; that is unless he's not telling you something. What he's not telling you is that you are still obliged to pay for the remainder of the bail bond cost, the remaining 5%, in small increments. What he's not telling you, too, is that the remaining 5% now comes with an interest. For this reason, if someone offers you a 5% bail bond cost, always read the fine print before you sign their contract, and do not hesitate to ask the agent questions.
You also need to be wary of bail bondsmen you meet at the police station, inside the jail cell, or in a jail and court lobby. What they're doing is prohibited, but they're still doing it anyway just so they could get their hands on your money. If they're willing to break the law to solicit business, what more could they do to their unsuspecting victim? You might risk losing your money to a fly-by-night agency. You might even become a victim of an identity theft.
Jennifer Dallas is a writer for a San Fernando bail bonds provider. She hopes that this article will teach people how to avoid being scammed by a dishonest or fake bail bond agent.