Scam artists pretend to be law enforcement

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – Imagine getting a call, saying one of your employees was in jail and you needed to come bail them out. That's exactly what happened to a man here at Baja Bean, but the call quickly took a fishy turn.

"A gentleman claiming to be a sheriff basically rang me up and said that one of my employees that had been arrested for DUI, and basically they were looking to me to bail them out," said Jeff Allums, Owner of Baja Bean.

Jeff figured out it was a scam right away.

The man wouldn't tell him the name of employee, claiming privacy laws.

When Jeff fed him a name, he was given this instruction.

"You need to go to Walmart and wire $800 for the bail to a bail bondsman in California and we'll get them out," said Allums.

A quick text to the employee in question proved to Jeff once and for all the call was a scam, but he doesn't want someone else to fall victim.

"It's just a horrible thing that you are worried about somebody getting them out a jam, and they are willing to prey on that," he said.

Allums says another common scam in the restaurant industry is for someone to take advantage of telex, a phone service for the deaf.  They place a large order, want him to charge their credit card for more than the total, and then give the courier who picks it up large amounts of cash back.  In this latest case, criminals are striking close to home, even supplying some true information.

Authorities would of course like to catch up with whoever is behind this scam, so if you get a similar phone call, be sure to call police.

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