The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office is warning county residents about a scam involving fake sheriff’s deputies seeking money from their victims.

The victims receive a call from someone who identifies themselves as a Deputy from the County Sheriff’s Office, who then tells them that there’s a warrant for their arrest. However, the callers add, it can be cleared up if they send money. According to a Sheriff’s Office news release, the perpetrators then ask the victim to contact a phone number, in this case 718-502-8854, to arrange the transaction.

The Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips for people to avoid these types of scams:

  • Do not meet up with someone that you don’t know; if you’re asked to do this it is a scam, and it is also very dangerous.
  • If you’re contacted by someone you don’t know asking for money, for any reason, that’s a signal that it’s most likely a scam.
  • If someone calls you and tells you that a relative has been hurt or is in jail, confirm it first before sending any money. Call other relatives or a legitimate law enforcement agency for confirmation before any money is sent.
  • If they’re posing as a relative, try and contact that relative for confirmation.
  • Sending money overseas is especially risky; use extreme caution.
  • Ask the person for their call-back number and ask to speak to their supervisor to confirm the info; if it’s a scam they will most likely hang up at this point and the number they give you will be bogus.
  • If the person is telling you that a loved one is in the hospital or jail, find out which one and contact the institution yourself to confirm.
  • If a loved one has recently passed, away be wary because perpetrators have even preyed on victims by searching through the obituaries and calling surviving loved ones.
  • In some cases someone will call and tell the victim that they’ve won money, but to “process the claim” they need to first send money. Beware, this is most definitely a scam. Don’t send any money – you should never have to pay money to claim a prize.

If you think you may have been the victim of a scam,  contact the Sheriff’s Office at 845-486-3800 or via the tipline at 845-605-CLUE or dcsotips@gmail.com.

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