Scammers have been impersonating PayPal and Amazon employees and calling area victims, asking them to transfer money, purchase merchandise, or to provide banking information, passwords and personal information, according to the Dutchess County Sheriff's Department.
They offered the following suggestions to avoid falling prey to scam artists:
- If you are contacted by anyone that you don't know asking you for money, it is probably a scam.
- Exercise caution and restraint when asked by callers to purchase items, transfer money, relay banking information or enter any kind of code—it is likely a scam.
- If a caller asks for money, telling you that a relative has been hurt or is in jail, call that relative, law enforcement, the institution itself or family members.
- Do not meet up with anyone you don't know
- Ask suspicious callers for a call back number, or to speak to their supervisor. Oftentimes, scammers will hang p at this point or give you a bogus number
- Use extreme caution sending money overseas
- If you get calls from people you don't know asking for money after a relative passes away, be suspicious
- You should never have to pay money to claim a prize
- Be especially alert around the holiday season, when scams are more prevalent
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