FOLEY, Ala. (WKRG) — Roxanne Aust got a phone call from a frantic teenage boy claiming to be her son. “He was upset, he was crying he said Mom I’ve been in a wreck.”
That began a 20-minute conversation between a panicked mother, a fake lawyer and a fake bail bondsman. “They are setting his bail at $120,000, felony DUI and you will need to pay 12% of that to get him out today and here is the number for the bail bondsman and he will tell you what to do next.”
She dials the bondsman’s 1-800 number. “So you will have to take your lawyer cash money, $12,000 cash and he will pay through the computer to me,” she was told.
The urgency and the red flags were all there, “I said well, where is he? No one has told me where he is and he said he is in Mobile, I said Mobile? Yes, Mobile.”
Aust couldn’t help thinking how all of this was so out of character for her son and then it started to sink in, “Just let me call him,” she told co-workers. “And I called him and he said hey, what’s going on?” The attorney on another line quickly hung up. She called his number and it was out of service.
Variations of this scam have been used all across the country. Thousands of dollars were lost but not in this case. Aust wants her experience to serve as a warning to others. “It’s scary how they can be so convincing to call and they knew exactly what to say to get me away from all the red flags that were coming up, to not even care about that,” said Aust.
How they got her number, and why she was targeted is still a mystery but experts said anytime you put identifying information online it can make you a target too.