Consumer Fraud Prevention
Scams happen every day. Many incarcerated individuals are seeking better lives and hope to make a positive impact in society when they are released. However, there are some individuals who may seek to use you to gain money. The tips below are designed to help ensure you do not fall victim to fraud.
When in doubt, call the correctional facility.
The correctional facility incarcerating the inmate is just as concerned about fraud as we are. If you aren’t sure that an inmate is telling you the truth, contact the jail directly. For example, if an inmate needs you to send money immediately in order to buy basic hygiene items, an officer can tell you exactly what items are provided free of charge to every inmate.
Send money only to people you know.
Many scams could be stopped with this simple rule. This site is designed to allow family and friends the opportunity to assist or communicate with an incarcerated loved one. If you don’t know the individual, it would be best to avoid sending money to them.
IRS payments are scams.
This site does not process payments to the Internal Revenue Service. If you receive a threatening notice to make a payment, stop and contact the IRS directly.
Verify any charities through jail staff.
If an inmate is asking you to send money for a charity, it is likely a scam. If it sounds like a worthy cause, contact the jail directly and speak to an officer to verify that it is legitimate. Even then, it would probably be best to give any donations directly to the correctional facility.
Bets, sweepstakes, or other winnings aren’t here.
Some scams involve a notification that a person has won something of value. Then you may be asked to send some money in order to cover shipping or other costs. Do not send money in these cases.
Purchasing from inmates should be avoided.
Do not send money to inmates in hopes of purchasing an item from them. If it is legitimate, the sale can happen when the inmate is released or can be arranged through an inmate’s family member.