Hudson Valley residents are being told to look out for scammers acting like the police.

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"The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office would like to take this opportunity to warn the residents of Dutchess County and surrounding areas about scams that once again seem to be on the rise," the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office wrote in a press release.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

The latest scam involves fake arrest warrants, police say. The victim receives a call from someone claiming to be a law enforcement official, who tells them that there’s a warrant for their
arrest.

However, the fake law enforcement official tells the person they can avoid prosecution by paying a sum of money.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Sheriff’s Office received two reports of this on Thursday. Both times the caller claimed to be an official from the Dutchess County Jail, police say.

"Scams are ways in which criminals will attempt to get money from people by contacting them and making up elaborate stories. In some cases the perpetrators have tried, sometimes successfully, to use the victim’s emotions about a loved one in trouble to get money. It’s common for the perpetrators of these scams to try to get money by telling people that one of their relatives has been seriously hurt or is in jail, and that they need money right away. In many cases they will pose as a law enforcement official or another relative to try and convince the victim that it’s legitimate," the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office stated.

The Sheriff’s Office also offered the following tips to help people avoid these scams:

Oleksii Spesyvtsev
  • Legitimate law enforcement would not attempt to satisfy a warrant or make promises to avoid prosecution by soliciting money.
  • If you receive an email about an order you didn’t place or asking you to send money call the company using a legitimate number. DO NOT follow the instructions in the email or call the number provided in the email.
  • If someone asks you to purchase merchandise, transfer money, provide bank information, or enter a code given to you by them use caution as it is likely a scam.
  • Do not meet up with someone that you don’t know; if you’re asked to do this it is surely a scam, and it is very dangerous as well.
  • 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; in some cases perpetrators have even preyed on victims by searching through the obituaries and calling surviving loved ones. If you get calls from people you don’t know soon after someone passes away, be careful and confirm it before you send any money.
  • 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 and don’t send any money – you should never have to pay money to claim a prize. If it seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
  • If there’s any doubt about a phone call or email you’ve received contact the Sheriff’s Office before sending any money.
  • Scams tend to increase during the holiday season, be especially alert for them during those times.

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