TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Police are warning residents of a bail scam circulating in Taunton after two residents were targeted.

Taunton Police Chief Edward Walsh said one of the victims recently received a phone call from someone claiming to be a lawyer for her grandchild.

The caller reportedly told her that her grandchild had been in a car crash and was in jail.

Walsh said the caller then told the victim that her grandchild needed $5,000 to post bail, and someone would swing by her home to pick it up later in the day.

The woman later realized she’d fallen victim to a scam after she contacted her grandchild directly regarding the bail money.

Walsh said a similar incident was reported last week. Both investigations are ongoing.

In the meantime, Walsh urged residents to remain vigilant, adding that government agencies, including law enforcement, never demand payment via wire transfer or prepaid cards when a person is held on bail.

It is “extremely difficult” for detectives to recover the money lost, which is why Walsh said residents should do take the following precautions:

  • Resist the urge to act immediately no matter how dramatic the story is.
  • Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer.
  • Call a phone number for their family member or friend that you know to be genuine.
  • Check the story out with someone else in their family or circle of friends, even if they’ve been told to keep it a secret.
  • Never wire or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.
  • Report possible fraud at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Anyone who believes they’ve fallen victim to a similar scam is urged to contact the Taunton Police Department at (508) 824-7522.