Victim Location 13219
Type of a scam Family/Friend Emergency
Person called our home phone and identified himself as our son, crying stating was in a car accident, he and others were hurt and he may be arrested in the hospital. Given phone number to call.
My husband received the initial call and called me at work with the above phone numbers to call and the extension to use. The call is received as an attorney’s office and the person who answers – David Morgan – is the public defender assigned to the case. States that my son lost control of his car, caused and accident and he and others were hurt, police came, hassled him and made him take several breathalyzer tests. He (the attorney) states that he ordered blood tests be done as he has been assigned this case.
He does not provide any information about which hospitals people are taken, where accident occurred, their status but states that this information can not be released until we get more information from court. A court/hearing date has been assigned and he provides a fake case or docket number and a phone number to call. When I call this number and give the docket number, they basically reiterate similar information, but then they state that there are a list of charges – reckless driving, dwi, other things and that unless bail is posted he will be arrested when discharged from hospital.
Then continues to explain how bail can be posted but due to the coronavirus and a family emergency by the bail bondsman, we can not post bail to the police/court. We need to use any attorney bonded bail and we should call the public defender. This person wants to confirm the name of the fake public defender and states that "he is really good" and it "looks like he is trying to get charges reduced for the dwi as he ordered blood toxicology tests". He then restates the name and phone number that I have.
I call this fake attorney back who explains that he put in a motion to have the $90K bail reduced to $60K as it was excessive and that after I am put on hold, it has been approved. So now we can put 10% down or $6000 cash only for bail. Due to coronavirus, we need to provide this via a digital currency kiosk (bitcoin).
He then explains that drivers license, "selfie" and possibly a second form of ID (eg SSN card) may be necessary. He directs you to coininsurance.net and either he or his secretary walks you through what needs to be done. This is a bitcoin application and his secretary issues you a bar code that is needed to fulfill the bitcoin application for funds transfer.
I continue to speak with him and ask him his name – David Martin, – firm – Martin & Goldstein, – office address – 100 Madison Avenue. I state that I know that this is not a real law firm, it is a fake address and that indeed my son was not in an accident (confirmed he was at work) and that no attorney by the name of David Martin is listed in Syracuse NY and that he is trying to scam me. He states that indeed "there was an accident and that perhaps it is a relative or friend that is stealing my son’s identity" and wants to put me on hold while he contacts the court to order fingerprint test.
I tell him to stop and he puts me on hold and eventually hangs up.
No funds were transferred, though in the fear and rush of trying to get information, I did sign up for a bitcoin account.