There are number of on-going reported scams in the Hudson Valley. Here are four tips you need to know to avoid being scammed.

Probably the most disturbing scam, is one where you are told a family member has been kidnapped. Scammers are calling or texting local people with the horrifying news that their loved one has been kidnapped, adding a certain amount of money must be wired, or their loved one was going to be killed.

There have been a number of are a number local reports this scam, that's also called the “Grandparent scam.” The most recent reported incident was in Middletown. The caller stated to the victim their loved one was responsible for a car accident and medical expenses. They reported they were holding the loved one for ransom in order to pay for legal, medical and car repair expenses. Background screams helped make the call seem convincing, and the victim wired $500.

In order to avoid scams like these, here are some tips

1) Ask a questions the caller likely won’t know that answer.
Police advise asking the caller personal questions about the person they claim has been kidnapped. For example: What is the alleged kidnapped person’s birthday? What is his or her mother’s birthday? What city was the person kidnapped born in?

2) Avoid Keeping Personal Information On Social Media
Officials believe scammers are obtaining detailed personal information about your family from your posts. Names, ages, etc might be easy to find on your social media accounts

3) Double Check Your Social Media Privacy Settings
Privacy settings seem to change often, sometimes with little notice, so it’s good practice to double check your privacy settings from time to time. Also, check or remind your loved ones to check theirs!

4) Screen Calls
Scammers are using local numbers to increase the chance you pick up.
Disclaimer: We know for many this is hard rule to follow. Many refuse to answer if they don’t recognize the number, but many others will pick-up.

In addition to the kidnap scam, in the past week officials have warned about other on-going scams.

Have you been the victim of this scam? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comment section below.