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    2 Suspects Charged In Dutchess County $27K Phone Scam

    By Kathy Reakes,

    22 days ago
    Dutchess County residents were scammed out of $27,000 after being contacted by two suspects posing as law enforcement.  Photo Credit: Canva/Kameleon007

    The Hudson Valley incident occurred in Dutchess County on Tuesday, June 18, and Wednesday, June 19.

    According to Capt. John Watterson of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, Vivek B. Shingarakhia, age 24, and Kishan Gajera, age 31, both of Jersey City, in connection with the investigation into a phone scam that was reported to the Sheriff’s Office, Wednesday, June 19.

    Watterson said the victims reported to sheriff’s deputies that they suspected they had been targeted in a scam after they were contacted by phone on Tuesday.

    The person posed as being from the Treasury Department, and informed them that they would be arrested for drug trafficking charges unless they paid $27,000.

    Through further investigation by the Sheriff’s Office’s, Shidngarakhia and Gajera were identified and taken into custody Wednesday in connection with the call and alleged scheme, Watterson said.

    Both suspects have been charged with attempted grand larceny and conspiracy.

    After being processed, both were released on appearance tickets.

    Watterson said scams are ways in which criminals will attempt to get money from people by contacting them and making up elaborate stories.

    "It is very important to not send any money to anyone that you don’t know until you’ve confirmed the situation through an independent source and feel comfortable with it," Watterson said. "If it’s a scam, once the money is sent, it’s very difficult, and most times impossible, to get it back."

    If anyone thinks they may have been the victim of a scam they are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 845-486-3800 or via the tipline at 845-605-CLUE or

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