CORTLAND, N.Y. — The Cortland County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents about a phone scam in which a male caller pretends to be a sheriff’s deputy and requests money from the victim.

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In October, the Ithaca Voice reported about an increase in phone scams focused in the Ithaca area. Just before Christmas, an Ithaca merchant was bilked out of $4,000 by such a scam, according to a report by the Ithaca Journal. Now, it seems that Cortland residents will need to be on the lookout as well.

Related: Ithaca police warn of increase in telephone scame

On Saturday, Dec. 26, the Cortland County Sheriff’s Department received a complaint from a person who reportedly received a phone call from a man who identified himself as an officer with the Cortland County Sheriff’s Department.

During the phone call, the man informed the person that they owed a certain amount of money and needed to meet with the caller at a location to pay the amount, or else incur more fines. The male caller then informed the victim that if they did not pay they would be arrested by the sheriff’s department.

The victim did not follow through with the demands of the male caller and reported the incident.

Officers are still attempting to locate and identify the unknown male caller. Since the first call was reported, the sheriff’s department has received numerous complaints similar to the one reported last week.

“The Cortland County Sheriff’s Department would like to remind you that they do not solicit money from anyone,” the department said in a news release Monday. “If you receive a similar call we request that you hang up the phone and notify the Police immediately.”

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