NEW YORK (NEWS10) — The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office is warning people of a phone scam that is aimed at grandparents. People who receive this call are told they are speaking with their own grandchild who has been jailed and needs help.

The scammers often used disguised voices claiming to be the grandparents grandchild who has been arrested on drug charges. They scammers claim that they cannot talk for long but need immediate help.

The scammers then provide a phone number for the grandparents to call back at. This phone number claims to be local law enforcement who say their grandchild needs to be bailed out immediately for a price ranging from $8,000-$10,000 dollars. Or they are given the option to pay a “discounted bail” of $2000-$3000 dollars if paid immediately.

The grandparents are then told to go to their local retail store and purchase several thousand dollars worth of gift cards like eBay in amounts ranging from $250-$500 dollars.

The grandparents then call the number back and are instructed to scratch of and provide the redemption code from the gift cards.

The Sheriff’s Office would like the public to know that these kinds of calls are a scam and are offering tips to help you avoid falling for it.

Their tips include:

  1. No law enforcement agency or county jail accepts gift card redemption codes as form of payment for bail.
  2. No law enforcement agency or county jail provides “discounted bail” if “paid immediately”.
  3. If someone tries to contact you that a relative has been arrested and makes these claims be sure to contact that relative for confirmation .
  4. If you are contacted by an unknown person asking for money, for any reason, it could be an indication that it is a scam.
  5. If you have and doubts about a suspicious phone call you’ve received be sure to contact your local law enforcement office before sending any money.

This investigation is ongoing and anyone who has information regarding these incidents or if you have been a victim of this crime, please call law enforcement officials for help and additional information.