Our firm has recently noticed an increased volume in callers who have been targeted by scam artists. The fraudulent scheme is quite common and works as follows:
The targeted individual, frequently a grandparent, will receive a phone call from a person claiming to be an attorney. The ‘attorney’ informs the target that their relative has been injured in an accident, has been charged with a crime as a result, and needs a certain amount of money for ‘cash bail’ to get out of jail. They will ask the target to wire the funds or to send the funds via express delivery (FedEx, UPS, etc.). Sometimes the targeted individual will receive another call, purportedly from their relative, again claiming an injury and the need for bail funds.
Should you find yourself on the receiving end of such a phone call, before doing anything you need to ensure the information you have been told is legitimate. Get the full name, phone number and address of the caller. Ask them for a court file number. Ask them specifically where your relative (or friend) is being held in custody. Then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney licensed to practice in Minnesota. If the information is legitimate, it can be very easily verified. If your friend or relative has truly been injured, arrested, or is facing any criminal charge we are happy to help them through that process.
If you believe you have been targeted by this type of scam, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office recommends reporting the matter to your local law enforcement and to other state and federal agencies including the FBI.