IDOC says scam aimed at inmates' families
Saturday, November 06, 2010 5:00 AM
The Indiana Department of Correction and county sheriffs are warning Hoosiers about a new scam preying on family members of inmates housed in Indiana jails.
The Corrections Department said in a news release Friday that Henry, Morgan, and Huntington county jails have recently been contacted by a man claiming to be a Department of Correction employee.
The caller asked for a list of jail inmates with drug-related charges who are scheduled to be transferred to the Department of Correction and claims there is a new drug treatment diversion program available for offenders who meet specific criteria.
Department officials said there is no such program within the Indiana Department of Correction. Audio recordings confirmed that the same person, who identified himself as Lt. Dan Woods, called Morgan and Henry counties. The Department of Correction press release said the department does not have any employee named Dan Woods.
"This same caller or his associates have also contacted relatives of inmates incarcerated for drug-related offenses and advises them of the same fictitious program," the press release said. "The caller tells the family to send a money order for $900 and the inmate will be transferred into the program in lieu of prison."
So far, two families of inmates have been contacted by two people posing as Department of Correction employees, the press release said.
"In one instance, after the initial transaction was completed, the offender's family was contacted again and told they needed to send more money to cover fees at the county jail," the press release said. "In both cases, the families were pressured to get the money as quickly as possible and get the transactions completed over the phone within hours of the initial call. The identified victim families live in the New Castle area, and both inmates were incarcerated at the Henry County Jail during the same time period."
The Department of Correction said its investigators are working with the Indiana State Police to identify the perpetrators of the scam. The department asked that anyone with information about the scam should contact the Indiana State Police toll-free at (888) 873-1694.