On 05/31/2023 at about 2:00 PM a woman received a phone call while at her workplace in the Town of Romulus. The caller identified herself as the woman’s daughter and spoke in the daughter’s voice. The caller sounded very upset and said that she had been in an accident and had a broken nose. The caller said that she was under arrest and needed bail money or was going to jail. The woman receiving the call stated that it sounded exactly like her daughter and even mentioned her daughter’s boyfriend’s correct name.  The caller asked the victim not to call her boyfriend as she wanted to give him the news face to face. A man then got in the phone and identified himself as police officer Daniel Harris. Harris explained that the bail was $9500 and that the charges were texting while driving and reckless endangerment. He said that her daughter rear-ended a pregnant driver.

The victim stated that she could not pay $9500. The bogus police officer stated that the public defender could get the bail lowered and asked how much she could afford. The victim was to call back with the amount she could pay and instead spoke with the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office.

This call has been confirmed as a scam. The scammer is suspected of pulling an audio sample and personal information from social media to be used in constructing the call. Several red flags were present that the public should be aware of:

  1. The charges reported were not eligible for bail under New York State’s Bail Reform.
  2. The number was from a 646 area code which is a Manhattan NY area code.    
  3.  It is highly irregular for a police officer to be negotiating bail.
  4. The caller did not want her to call the boyfriend—(the boyfriend could have confirmed that the woman’s daughter was okay and not involved in the accident.   

Scammers count on a parent, grandparent or other family member to be emotionally upset enough not to question the validity of the call. With computer software easily available to copy and mimic any voice these types of scams are expected to continue.  

We are asking the public to be aware and spread the word about these despicable scams. Never send money or give bank account or credit card info to anyone without 100% confirmation. If there is ever any doubt, contact local law enforcement before you send any money or give any personal information. In this case the woman receiving the call saved herself a lot of money by having it checked out.