>   EMERGENCY BAIL BONDS >   CALL 863.533.2245

Bail Bond Scams Are on the Rise (5 Florida Bail Scams You Need To Watch Out For)

Have you ever wondered about the common bail bond scams that could potentially affect you or your loved ones?

From solicitation for bail bonds to fake bail bond companies, the risks are real.

Doug Moore of Bail America in Bartow, Florida discusses the top five bail bond scams to watch out for; along with how bail bonds are regulated in Florida and the legal limit for bail bond fees.

Learn about the consequences of falling for a bail bond scam and essential tips on how to protect yourself. Stay informed by reading about bail scams and safeguard your rights!

Bail Bond Scams Key Takeaways:

  • Watch out for solicitation for bail bonds, it is illegal in every state and a common scam.
  • Be aware of hidden fees. Florida law allows only 10% of the cash bail to be accepted.
  • Do not fall for false promises of reduced bail amount, it is a tactic used by scammers.
  • Ask questions! Any reputable bail bondsman would have no problem producing their bail license.
  • Beware of people calling requesting all cash and to be met somewhere other than their office, or to send gift cards via email. Florida law mandate a bondsman must have a physical office to accept payment and/or collateral.

What Are the Common Bail Bond Scams?

Common bail bond scams involve various deceptive practices that exploit individuals in vulnerable situations, such as solicitation for bail bonds under false pretenses.

One prevalent type of bail bond scam is the grandparent bail scam, where scammers target elderly individuals, pretending to be their grandchild in legal trouble and in need of bail money.

If someone calls you claiming to be a bail bondsman or police officer that a relative is jailed and needs bail, get their info (name, business name or department & phone number). Then do this:

  • Call the person who is alleged to be in jail. Can’t reach this person...
  • Call someone else in your group or another family member.
  • Do a search on the company name, you’ll find a phone number – see if it matches. If not, call that business and ask for that bondsman. More than likely they don’t exist. Or if you don’t want to call the company, call the police.
  • Call the police in your city. Explain the phone call you received. The police will have an easier time of finding someone in custody. The police, sheriff and call center staff all know about this scam and will be willing to help.

Look, if the defendant is really in jail, they aren’t going anywhere. Take a few minutes to research the call.

Doug Moore – Bail Bondsman, Bail America

False promises are another common tactic, where bail bond agents make unrealistic guarantees to secure business, only to disappear once the money is collected.

Impersonation scams involve posing as law enforcement or court officials to pressure individuals into paying for unnecessary or fake bail services. These deceptive practices underscore the importance of thoroughly vetting bail bond agencies before engaging with them and handing over thousands of dollars.

Solicitation for Bail Bonds

Solicitation for bail bonds is a common tactic used by scammers and unscrupulous bail bondsmen to target individuals in need of bail assistance, often resulting in financial exploitation and legal troubles.


Scammers who engage in solicitation for bail bonds often prey on vulnerable individuals during times of distress. They take advantage of the urgency and emotional vulnerability of those seeking bail help, manipulating them into paying exorbitant fees and signing often bogus agreements.

It is crucial for individuals in such situations to exercise caution and thoroughly verify the legitimacy of any bail bond service before engaging with them. This can help protect against falling victim to scams and ensure that their financial well-being and legal rights are safeguarded.

Grandparent bail bond scams on the rise in Florida
Grandparent bail bond scams on the rise in Florida

Hidden Bail Fees

Hidden fees in bail bonds can lead to unexpected financial burdens for individuals seeking bail assistance, highlighting the importance of transparency in contractual agreements.

These hidden fees are often sneakily tucked away in the fine print, catching defendants and cosignors off guard with exorbitant charges that were not initially disclosed.

For example, some unscrupulous bail bond agencies may impose fees for services that were assumed to be included in the initial agreement, such as administrative costs or processing fees. This lack of transparency can significantly impact the financial well-being of those already facing challenging circumstances.

False Promises of Reduced Bail Amount

Scammers may make false promises of reducing the bail amount to lure in desperate family members, ultimately leading to financial losses and legal consequences.

The deceptive tactics employed by these individuals can have profound implications on both families and individuals who fall victim to their schemes.

When hopeful loved ones are already in a vulnerable state due to a challenging situation, the false assurances of a reduced bail can provide a temporary sense of relief, only to result in further turmoil.

It is crucial to emphasize the necessity of thoroughly verifying the credibility and authenticity of any claims made by those offering to assist with bail reduction. Taking the time to conduct proper research and seeking advice from reputable sources can prevent irreversible financial repercussions and safeguard against potential legal risks.

Impersonating a Bail Bondsman

Impersonating a bail bondsman, especially in scenarios like the grandparent bail bond scam, is a fraudulent practice that preys on emotions and trust to deceive individuals in distress.

These scams often involve individuals pretending to be legitimate bail bond agents in order to extort money or personal information from vulnerable victims.

One common tactic is to call elderly individuals, claiming that their grandchild has been arrested and needs bail money urgently.

The scammers use fear and urgency to manipulate the victims into sending money without verifying the authenticity of the situation.

It is crucial to always verify the identity and credentials of anyone claiming to be a bail bondsman before taking any action. Legitimate bail bond agents will have proper licensing and documentation that can be easily verified. By staying vigilant and cautious, individuals can protect themselves from falling victim to these deceitful schemes.

Fake Bail Bond Companies

Fake bail bond companies operating in Florida pose a significant threat to individuals seeking legitimate assistance, potentially leading to incarceration and financial loss.

These fake entities often prey on vulnerable individuals in urgent situations, offering false promises and misleading information to exploit their desperation. It is crucial for anyone in need of bail bond services to verify the authenticity of the company before engaging with them.

One effective way to accomplish this is by checking if the bail bond company is licensed to operate in the state of Florida. Individuals should research the reputation of the company by reading reviews and testimonials from previous clients.

Paying for Fake Errors or Bail Revocation Threats

  • The Fake Bail Error Scam: This scam involves a rogue bondsman or other scammer who has access to your bail application and has your information. You may get call where the scammer states that there was an error on the bond paperwork and that the bail was underpaid or there were more fees. The scammers will then go on to say that if the amount isn’t paid right away, they’ll take the defendant immediately to jail and they would have to pay another bondsman the full amount to get out again.
  • The Revocation Scam: The revocation scam goes like this; an unscrupulous bondsman or legit scammer calls and says that your bond will be revoked if X amount of dollars isn’t paid immediately.

How Are Bail Bonds Regulated in Florida?

Bail bonds in Florida are subject to strict regulations outlined by state laws to ensure fair practices and prevent exploitation of individuals in legal predicaments.

Florida Bail Bond Laws: Statutes Chapter 903 provides the overarching framework for bail bonds, detailing the requirements for both surety and cash bonds. Bail America bail bonds in Bartow play a crucial role in this process by securing a defendant’s release from custody by posting bail on their behalf. We ONLY charge a fee of 10% of the total bail amount for our bail service.

To protect the rights of individuals seeking bail assistance, the state mandates that bondsmen adhere to specific licensing requirements and restrictions on their practices.

What Is the Legal Limit for Bail Bond Fees in Florida?

In Florida, the legal limit for bail bond fees restricts the amount that can be charged to 10% of the total cash bail set by the court, ensuring affordability and preventing excessive financial burdens on defendants. Anything more than 10% payment in Florida is a scam and should be reported.

By implementing this 10% limit, the Florida legal system aims to create a fairer and more equitable environment for individuals navigating the bail process.

This provision safeguards defendants from unscrupulous practices, shielding them from exorbitant fees that could exploit their vulnerable position.

The capped fees offer a safety net, ensuring that individuals are not taken advantage of during what is already a stressful and challenging time.

What Are the Consequences of Falling for a Bail Bond Scam?

Individuals who fall victim to bail bond scams may face dire consequences, including financial losses, legal repercussions, and even prolonged incarceration in some cases.

These scams often prey on individuals in vulnerable situations, promising quick release from custody in exchange for exorbitant fees and collateral. Despite these elaborate guarantees, many victims find themselves left with drained bank accounts and falsified promises.

Scammers exploit the desperation of those seeking help, manipulating their circumstances for personal gain. These fraudulent practices can result in individuals falling deeper into legal trouble, as engaging with scam operators can lead to potential charges of aiding and abetting criminal activities.

Losing Money

One of the primary consequences of falling for bail bond scams is the significant monetary loss experienced by victims, often resulting in financial distress and hardship.

Scammers involved in bail bond scams prey on vulnerable individuals who are in desperate need of financial help to secure someone’s release from jail. They often use deceptive tactics to exploit their targets, convincing them to provide large sums of money with promises of quick solutions.

The “grandparent bail scam” isn’t only a problem in the United States, here’s an article about an elderly woman who almost lost $36,000 to a grandma bail bond scam:

Grandparent bail bonds scams on the rise in Florida
Grandparent bail bonds scams on the rise in Florida

These fraudulent schemes can lead to long-term financial repercussions and added fear as scammers are now going to people’s homes to make pickup cash or gift cards. Victims are left with no recourse for recovering their lost funds, further worsening their financial situation.

Facing Legal Charges

Victims of bail bond scams may find themselves entangled in legal troubles. This statement sounds odd, but keep reading.

When individuals fall victim to bail bond scams, they unknowingly risk being implicated in offenses such as identity theft, forgery, or conspiracy. These criminal charges can have severe consequences if not investigated properly.

Delayed Release from Jail

These scams can have devastating consequences on both the victims and their families, as the promised bail bond services turn out to be non-existent or insufficient. It’s not uncommon for scammers to exploit the desperation of those seeking release, manipulating the process with false promises and misleading information.

Defendants who’ve had family on the outside deceived by bail bond scams may experience delays in release from county jail, prolonging their confinement due to fraudulent or improper bail bond arrangements.

Cosignors are often left in a state of vulnerability and uncertainty, unsure of when they will be able to free their loved ones. The emotional toll of being caught in such a situation can be immense, adding to the already stressful experience of having friends or family money in jail.

How Can You Protect Yourself from Bail Bond Scams?

To safeguard against bail bond scams, individuals must take proactive measures such as conducting thorough research, verifying credentials, and staying vigilant against potential scam artists.

One crucial aspect of protecting oneself from falling victim to a bail bond scam is to double-check the license of the bail bond agent or company they are dealing with. This can typically be done by contacting the state’s department of insurance or relevant regulatory agency to ensure that the bond provider is legitimate and in compliance with all regulations.

In Florida, you can easily check a bail bond company by name or by bail agent name here: Florida Bail License Search

It is advisable to ask for references from the bail bond service and follow up with these references to gauge their experiences. Trustworthy companies will have satisfied clients who can vouch for their services. Individuals should be wary of any entity that pressures them into making quick decisions or offering deals that seem too good to be true.

Research the Bail Bond Company

Before engaging with a bail bond company, it is crucial to thoroughly research the name of the company (most list incorrect business names on Google – which is against Google’s Policy and the state of Florida bail laws) their reviews and legitimacy using free online resources and official state websites for verification.

Researching bail bond companies helps individuals make informed decisions and avoid potential scams or untrustworthy services. By assessing a company’s credentials, such as proper licensing and industry affiliations, customers can ensure they are dealing with a reputable firm.

Checking customer reviews and ratings on online platforms can provide valuable insight into a bail company’s past performance and customer satisfaction levels.

Ask for Proof of License

Requesting proof of license from a bail bond agent is a crucial step in ensuring the legitimacy and compliance of the service provider with state laws and regulations governing the industry.

No legitimate bail bonds company will ever refuse to show you their license or give you their license number to verify their legitimacy!

Bail America ~ Florida License #B000167

When engaging with a bail bond agent, verifying their license ensures that they have met the necessary legal requirements to practice in the field. These requirements vary by state, but generally involve undergoing specific training, passing exams, and adhering to strict regulations set forth by the state’s Department of Insurance.

By checking the authenticity of the bail bond agent’s license, cosignors can protect themselves from falling victim to unlicensed or a bail scam.

Verifying a bail bonds company or agent takes just minutes. Simply by requesting the license number from the “bondsman” you’re talking with, checking with the state’s Department of Insurance and verifying the information online through official state corporate search databases.

Understand the Bail Bond Process

To reiterate, it is against the law in all states to solicit bail! No professional “bail bondsman” would ever call a family member about paying bail for someone who is locked up. If you get this type of call, ask for their details and call the police and file a report. Stopping this behavior is important to protect others in your community.

Knowing how bail works in Florida helps a person to remain cautious of unsolicited offers, particularly in instances like the grandchild scam, is essential to avoid falling victim to deceptive practices and financial exploitation in the bail bond industry.

Staying vigilant against such fraudulent solicitations is crucial – always verify the legitimacy of offers, consult trusted sources, and be wary of high-pressure tactics.

Report Suspicious Activity

Individuals encountering suspicious activity or potential scams in the bail bond sector should promptly report such incidents to the relevant authorities to prevent further harm and protect others from falling victim to fraudulent practices.

This type of proactive behavior helps authorities in taking necessary actions against perpetrators who exploit vulnerable individuals seeking bail assistance.

By reporting suspicious activities promptly, individuals play a crucial role in safeguarding the integrity of the bail system and ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

Community vigilance is vital to dismantle bail bond scams and protect individuals from financial losses and legal troubles.

If you or a loved one has any questions about Polk County bail bonds or Florida bail in general, don’t hesitate to call and talk to one of our license bondsmen 24/7 at 863-533-2245.

Are there any red flags that could indicate a bail bond scam?

Grandparent bail scams you need to watch out for!

Yes, there are several red flags to watch out for when dealing with a potential bail bond scam. These include requests for payment upfront or through illegal means, lack of proper licensing or credentials, and refusal to provide detailed information about their services and fees.

What are bail bond scams and why are they on the rise?

Bail bond scams are fraudulent schemes designed to cheat people out of their money by posing as legitimate bail bond agents. These scams have been on the rise due to the increasing popularity of cash bail and the desperation of those in need of bail assistance.

What are the 5 most common bail bond scams that people need to watch out for?

The 5 most common bail bond scams include: overcharging for bail bond services, charging hidden fees, posing as a bail bondsman without proper licensing, offering fake discounts or “special deals”, and soliciting bail bond services.

A bondsman says if I finance a bail bond I have to pay interest, is this true?

No. Bondsmen are not financial institutions. If the bondsman is willing to finance the bond they cannot charge interest, regardless of how long it takes to pay back. What a bondsman will do is require 50% down which covers the cost of the bond and then break up the remaining 50% into monthly/biweekly payments based on your ability to pay.

How can I protect myself from falling victim to a bail bond scam?

To protect yourself from bail bond scams, always research the bail bond agency you are considering using, verify their licensing and credentials, and never agree to any deals or discounts that seem too good to be true. It is also important to be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding bail bonds in your state.

What should I do if I suspect that I have been a victim of a bail bond scam?

If you suspect that you have been a victim of a bail bond scam, contact your local law enforcement immediately. You should also report the scam to the Better Business Bureau and the Department of Insurance in your state.

Is it possible to avoid using a bail bond agent altogether?

Yes, there are alternative options to using a bail bond agent, such as paying the full cash bail amount or seeking help from a bail assistance program. It is important to explore all options and choose the one that is best for your specific situation.