About Bail Bondsman Fraud in Nassau County, FL
Bail Bondsman Fraud: Don’t Fall for It
When you or a loved one requires a bail bond, the last thing you want is to fall for bail bondsman fraud. As experienced Nassau County, FL bondsmen, Liberty Bail Bonds Nassau is here to highlight the signs of bail bond scams. With a transparent and trustworthy approach, our professionals are dedicated to keeping you protected.
Know the Basics of Bail Bonds & Fees
The first line of defense in mitigating bail bondsman fraud is understanding the basics of the bail bond process. It’s essential that you recognize that police officers do not issue bonds; only a judge may set a bond. Once a bond is set, the person paying for the bond meets with the bondsman at the jail. In Florida, bonds are determined at the time of the arrest and booking. In most counties, there’s a set fee schedule for various criminal offenses to limit the judge’s workload and deter overpopulation in jails. The arrested individual must meet the crime and given criteria to achieve the designated fee.
The Bail Bond Process
The bondsman should meet you at the jail with the appropriate paperwork and documents to sign the bond. You may also do this online or, in some cases, at your home. However, it’s important to note that bail bondsman fraud often occurs when scammers come to your home. As such, it’s imperative to do your research before making a payment. There will be a meticulous paperwork and documentation process when working with a legitimate bail bondsman. Once the paperwork is fulfilled, the bond is then posted. The bondsman will work with the corrections officers and jail. The arrested individual will be released when the bond is paid and posted.
Know What to Look Out For
There are several key tactics bail bondsman fraud scammers apply to their process. While some may seem obvious, these criminals have often perfected their craft. Familiarize yourself with the red flags of bail bond scams and protect yourself and your loved ones from financially damaging situations and emotional turmoil.
Seek a Licensed Bail Agent
A bail bondsman should never reach out to you first. It’s imperative to seek out a bail bondsman on your own accord. Be sure to verify that their license is active and valid. Do your due diligence to confirm that their office is real by researching them and reading reviews on state government websites and traditional search engines. In times of panic, it can be easy to overlook essential steps, such as asking for proof of a bail bond agent’s license. A reputable, trustworthy bail bond agent will have no issue providing you with proof of their credentials. If you are researching a bail bond agent online, their license number is generally listed on their website.
Illegal Solicitation & Fraudulent Calls
Legally, bail bond agents are prohibited from soliciting their services through cold calls to an arrested individual or their loved ones. Bail bond agents can only advertise services in police stations, courtrooms, and jails. As such, if you receive a call from an alleged bail bondsman, you are likely dealing with a scammer. If your family member or friend is detained and you receive a call regarding an error with your loved one’s bail bond, it is a scam. Bail bond scammers often seek information through public records to contract client information belonging to legitimate bond companies. If you receive a call about underpaid bonds, hang up and contact your trusted bail bondsman.
Fraudulent bail agents may abuse their power. It’s essential to understand your rights to avoid these situations. For instance, bail bond agencies cannot detain you without a warrant for your arrest, even if you owe them money. Furthermore, if a bail agent uses intimidation, threats, or coercion tactics, do not work with them.
Avoid Steep Discounts & Interest Rates
Real bail bond agents will not offer steep discounts. Legitimate companies have fixed fees for their bondsman services designated by the state. If a bail bondsman offers you a major discount, take it as a red flag and a sign that you are likely dealing with a scammer. If a bail bond agent requests an interest rate on top of their fee, it is a sign that you are embarking on bail bondsman fraud. Bail bonds are typically affordable. However, it’s best to understand your local bail bond cost laws, as these are standardized and cannot be reduced or exceeded.
Lack of Paperwork or Contract
Bail bonds must be completed with a contract and signatures. If a bail bond agent offers over-the-phone payment without a contract in place, find another. Some companies offer over-the-phone payment with DocuSign options to sign contracts remotely. In this case, you should receive a receipt that includes court date information and links to the courthouse.
Dedicated scammers may go the extra mile to make their scam appear legitimate. As such, they create fake jail or government websites. When browsing bail bond agents online, verify the URL to ensure it begins with “https” and that the website is secured. Additionally, government websites will always finish with “.gov.”
Report Suspicious Activity
If you are approached by a suspected scammer soliciting what you believe to be bail bondsman fraud, it’s imperative to report them. You may report the suspicious activity to your local authorities to help eliminate scammers and protect others.
Contact Our Trusted Bail Bond Agency
Liberty Bail Bonds Nassau is Nassau County, FL’s trusted bail bond agency. With your trust at the forefront of our services, you can rely on us for transparent and reliable bail bondsman services to help you or a loved one through a tumultuous time. Contact us today to learn more about our bail bond assistance.