Inmates scammed after jail accidentally releases info

Former jail inmates were the targets of a scam after their information was released by a jail employee to a man claiming to be a police officer.

Two former Johnson County jail inmates reported receiving phone calls from a man and a woman claiming to be with the bail bond agency the inmates had used. The callers said the payment hadn’t worked and asked for a debit card number. One man hung up after becoming suspicious, but the other provided his debit card information, according to police reports.

The man who provided his card information became concerned when a $72 charge appeared on his account. The callers began asking him to wire money, and then asked him to meet in Indianapolis, which he refused to do, the report said.

Police began looking into how the scammers got the former inmates’ information and found that a jail officer had gotten a call from a man claiming to be a Michigan police officer investigating a stabbing. The man requested inmate information, including contact numbers and bonding agents from last Saturday, and the jail officer sent it to him, the report said.

Both men targeted by the scam were at the jail that day, the report said.

Sheriff Doug Cox said he was troubled by the incident.

“We should be verifying whether that is actually a police officer,” he said.

Information for 8-10 inmates was released and was not information law enforcement would have any reason to give to the public, Cox said.

“We need to do our due diligence and find out what happened and put a stop to it,” he said.

Cox wants his employees to call another police department back to verify that requests for information are legitimate, which is a policy he wants to ensure his staff are following, he said.

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.