Bellingham restaurants targeted for fraud

The Bellingham Business Journal

Bellingham police are alerting local business owners and employees to a phone scam targeting several area restaurants. The first incident occurred late Thursday afternoon (11/19) when a local restaurant manager spoke by phone to a man who identified himself as a deputy for the Sheriff’s Office. The caller told the manager that one of their employees had been arrested for DUI and was in the Whatcom County Jail.

The caller told the manager that he can not disclose the name of the employee but can confirm the name if the manager offered one.

After the manager gave out several names, one was confirmed by the caller as the one in jail.

The caller told the manager that if he wired $700 to a bail depository in Portland, Ore., the employee would be released.  In at least one case, the manager wired the money.  At this time, several other complaints have been received but no other losses reported.

The Sheriff’s Office does not solicit bail for inmates; anyone can verify if someone is in custody in the Whatcom County Jail by calling (360) 676-6848.  If you have been a victim of this scam please call 9-1-1 to file a report.

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