We are proud of being a licensed bail bond agency and with that comes a responsibility to protect the community where we work. We would like to help people that don’t understand how bail bonding works to be able to see possible fraud from con artists and scammers.
There are a few key things to remember when working with anyone that claims to be a bail bondsman in Florida. The most important item is that every bail bondsman in the state needs to be licensed through the Department of Insurance (you can check licenses here). If a person does not have a license they can not discuss bail bonds nor collect money for a bail bond.
Some con artists will target the elderly and tell them their grandchild is in jail and needs to have bail posted. They will tell the grandparent that the family member used their one call to contact the bondsman and that is why they are calling on the “defendant’s” behalf. They will tell the grandparent what the “bond amount” is and then request payment for the bond fee. This will all be done on the phone and often the con artist will attempt to have the money sent via cash app or other service that does not have a protest feature. If that is unavailable the con artist will sometimes offer to pick up the cash face to face. Under no circumstances will a professional bondsman work this way or use these types of methods.
One thing to remember before ever working with any bondsman is jail information is open to the public. We recommend calling the jail to verify that the person is actually in their facility and what the bail amount is. The jailers will give you that information and you will know that there is a need for a bail bondsman. Secondly be sure to only hire a licensed bail bondsman and preferably one that has an actual office location that can be verified.
Court records are open to the public and some con artists will use the information to obtain charges and the name of the bonding company that has signed a bond. The con artists will then dress like a bail bondsman working on arresting a wanted person and arrive at a family members home. They will advise the family member that more money is owed to the bonding company or he will have to be put back in jail.
Licensed bail bondsman will not show up at any family members home in an attempt to collect money in lieu of taking a defendant back into custody, they may show up for official business, but not in an attempt to collect funds in this manner. A bail bondsman will also know who the cosigner on a bail bond is and will only contact those people for any financial issues. Bail bondsmen do not attempt to contact random family member in order to collect money that may be owed on a bail bond.
If anyone arrives at your home or office and identifies themselves as a “bounty hunter”, “fugitive recovery agent”, or any other type of bail enforcement, it is most likely an unlicensed person. Those terms are not allowed in Florida and only a licensed bail bondsman is able to work on locating wanted defendants. Please remember to always call the bonding company to verify that any action is being taken.
We have only listed a couple of the known scams that criminals will use to defraud good and honest people who love their family. If you ever have a question about any activity that is happening be sure to call the actual bail bondsman or you can contact your local police to have come out and verify that the people are really bail bondsmen. Do not ever just hand someone cash unless you know they are licensed and approved to work in the bail industry. If you have questions you may also call us at 1st Knight Bail Bonds, even if you have not used our services, and we will help you better understand if the people are really bail bondsmen.