Kidnapping scams on the rise

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POUGHKEEPSIE – A kidnapping phone scam has been on the rise during the last few days and the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office is alerting residents to it.
Phone scams are ways in which criminals will attempt to get money from people by calling them and making up elaborate stories. In most cases, the perpetrators have tried, sometimes successfully, to use the victim’s emotions about a loved one in trouble to get money.
One of the common scams is to tell people that one of their relatives has been seriously hurt, is in jail, or has been kidnapped and that they need to send money right away.  In the latest version of the scam people have been contacted and told that a loved one has been kidnapped, and that to get them back, money must be sent or brought to a designated location.
In one instance, a local couple was targeted.  The perpetrators contacted both of them separately and told them their spouse had been kidnapped. At one point, one of the spouses asked to speak to the other one and the perpetrators linked their phones through some technology, leading both to believe the other had been kidnapped.
If you should receive one of those phone calls, the sheriff’s office said you should not panic. Contact the police as soon as possible and do not make deals with perpetrators unless you are doing so under the guidance of police.
If you receive a call from someone you do not know, that is a signal that it is most likely a scam, officials said.