Dutchess County Sheriff Anderson and officials from Medicaid are not seeking money from area residents, and phone calls regarding as much are a scam, authorities warn.

Two ongoing phone scams in the area involve callers impersonating Sheriff Adrian "Butch" Anderson and Medicaid, authorities said, and the alleged criminals are playing on victims’ emotions to bilk them out of money.

The first scam follows this process: victims will receive a call from someone posing as Sheriff Anderson, who then says the resident is the victim of identity fraud, and requests money to be transferred during the call to remediate the issue. The second scam comes from a fake Medicaid representative, who explains fake services the program can offer.

In the Medicaid scam, the phone number being used is 661-468-9066, authorities said. It appears both scams are not related or connected to each other, and there are no known reports of anyone actually sending money to the perpetrators.

Here are some helpful tips from the Sheriff’s Office to help potential victims better identify these types of scams:

  • 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 you’ve received contact the Sheriff’s Office before sending any money.

Authorities also warn that money sent to these types of perpetrators is incredibly difficult, and most times impossible to recover. Anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of a scam is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 845-486-3800 or via the tip line at 845-605-CLUE. Emails can also be sent to dcsotips@gmail.com.