Scammers posing as Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies
Employers thinking they are helping make bail for a jailed employee should be aware of a scam that has taken place in Johnson County.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department says callers posing as Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies have stolen thousands of dollars from area businesses in the last year.
Sheriff’s Master Deputy Tom Erickson said at least five businesses have reported falling victim to the bail scam in the past year, losing on average $1,000 to $2,000 per business. Affected businesses have been countywide, he said. The most recent incident reported was last week.
The scam, Erickson said, begins with a phone call to a business, in most cases a restaurant. After requesting to speak to the manager on duty, the caller tells the manager he is with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and an employee of the business has been arrested and is in jail. The caller usually has the name, the reason for the arrest and an accurate description of the person they claim is in need of the bail money. They then request the manager wire money to bond the employee out of jail. The destination for the wired money has always been outside of the Johnson County area.
By the time the business finds out the employee wasn’t arrested, Erickson said, “they’re out the money.”
Erickson stressed the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office does not under any circumstances request money from anyone concerning a bond. Rather, he said, the person making requests for bond money should be the person arrested and in need of bail.
He said anyone receiving a call from the “Johnson County Sheriff’s Office” requesting bail money be wired to a location should gather as much information from the caller as they can, hang up, call 911 and report this attempted crime.