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NKY Police: Scam calls targeting seniors claim relative needs bail money

Calls received in Boone, Kenton counties
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Posted at 4:32 PM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 23:42:20-05

Two Northern Kentucky police agencies are warning about a new round of scam calls in which callers ask seniors for money to bail a relative out of jail.

Police in Boone and Kenton counties said the scam caller portrays themselves as one of the victim's family members, like a grandchild or a nephew, and says they have been involved in a crash and are under arrest.

Then, in a "very convincing" follow-up call, someone posing as a lawyer will instruct the victim to hand over cash for reduced bail between $10,000 and $15,000. A "courier" or "bail bondsman" is sent to the victim's home to collect the money. The Kenton County Sheriff's Office said some victims have been instructed to provide gift card numbers over the phone as payment.

"The scammers are very good at picking up personal clues thru the phone conversation and at portraying themselves as the family member, lawyer or law enforcement personnel," read a release from the Kenton County Sheriff's Office.

Bail bond businesses do not exist in Kentucky, and people who are arrested most often pay bonds directly to jails, according to the Boone County Sheriff's Office.

If you receive one of these scam calls, do not give any personal information over the phone. Make the caller say your family member's name, where they are being held and what police agency made the arrest. Then, hang up and call police.

"The scammers will work hard to keep you on the phone and if you try to hang up they are likely to make threats," the BCSO said.

If you're not sure you received a scam call, contact your family member to confirm they are safe, and do not use a phone number a scam caller provides.

To report these calls, contact the Kentucky Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection at (888) 432-9257.

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