Police warn of scammers pretending to be jail staff

Columbus police are urging you to be cautious if you receive a phone call about a loved one supposedly in jail.

The department says they have received several reports of fraud with scammers pretending to be jail staff. In one case, the scammer claimed that the victim’s son was involved in an accident and later arrested. The scammer then claimed that $10,000 was needed to be mailed to an out-of-state address in order to bond the son out of jail and to keep the story out of the newspaper.

The victim mailed the money but family members contacted authorities who were able to work with the parcel company to intercept the package. The son had not actually been arrested.

Police say that the scammers are convincing and use high pressure tactics to work on the victim’s emotions. You should never send currency, gift cards, checks or other valuables to unknown people.

If you have any questions about whether someone asking for money is legitimate, you can contact the Columbus Police Department at 812-376-2600.