Erie County Sheriff warns of new bail scheme, scammers posing as attorneys

Erie County

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard is warning residents of a new bail scam that’s been reported multiple times to his office.

We’re told the scheme involves a scammer identifying as an attorney contacting people asking for cash in exchange for a family member. A large dollar amount is requested to be withdrawn and in return, the scammer posing as the “attorney” will make arrangements to retrieve the cash from a family member’s home.

The sheriff’s office says you can better protect yourself from this scam by verifying the family member’s status directly, question the so-called attorney about what law enforcement agency arrested the family member and then contact the agency directly for more information. And always hang up.

Officials say a red flag is if the scammers tell you a ride-sharing/transportation company will get the cash or the person at the residence. The sheriff also says never to give money to an unknown person and never get in an unknown vehicle.

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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