PORTLAND — The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department issued a warning today to the public about a scam in which a person identifying himself as a bail bondsman notifies a business owner that they need to wire money to a local retail store in order to bail out an employee who has been arrested.

In one incident, a caller told a restaurant owner that one of his workers had been arrested for drunk driving. The caller said money needed to be wired to a local Wal-Mart to bail the individual out of jail. When the employer went to the jail he learned the worker was never arrested.

Chief Deputy Kevin J. Joyce said his department is aware of two similar scams. Joyce said he is not sure if money was wired to Wal-Mart.
Joyce said bail commissioners – there is no such thing as a bail bondsmen in Maine – only take cash for bail. Commissioners do all of their business at the jail, and do not handle wire transfers.

Joyce urged the public to contact the Jail Intake Division at 774-1144 with questions or if they have been contacted by a so-called bail bondsman.