Delaware County law-enforcement officials are telling residents to be wary after multiple reports of scammers posing as deputies and police officers.

Delaware County law-enforcement officials are telling residents to be wary after multiple reports of scammers posing as deputies and police officers.

Delaware County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Tracy Whited said the office received two reports of suspicious phone calls May 2.

Whited said both residents said a man claiming to be "Deputy Strickland" told them they had warrants out for their arrest and needed to pay a fine.

Two problems: The sheriff's office does not employ anyone named "Deputy Strickland," and police agencies cannot serve warrants over the phone.

Both of the residents found the phone calls fishy and declined to send any money the phony deputy's way.

Whited said anyone claiming to be with the sheriff's office who asks for money or financial information is a fraud. She also said residents should be suspicious of anyone claiming to be working on a fundraiser on the agency's behalf.

"The sheriff's office will never call and say you need to give money," she said.

Later that week, two Powell residents reported someone had been posing as a city police sergeant looking to collect fines over the phone.

Powell spokeswoman Megan Canavan said she wanted to echo the sheriff's office's warning against giving out financial or personal information over the phone. She said anyone contacted by someone claiming to be a city police officer should get in touch with the actual Powell Police Department.

Whited said law-enforcement agencies frequently are plagued by impostors looking to scare residents into paying phony fees.

"Often, they're preying on that older-adult population," she said.

Whited said the scams also can be difficult to investigate, with many of the calls originating outside of the country.

Capt. Adam Moore of the Delaware Police Department said the city has seen similar scams in the past, but none recently. He proposed a simple solution for figuring out if a caller claiming to be an officer is on the level.

"If you're concerned, politely excuse yourself and call us directly," he said.

Even with the difficulties involved in investigating such cases, Moore said, law-enforcement officials want residents to report potential scammers.

"We do not want people out there impersonating us," he said.

Moore said it's also important for residents to be wary of other common phone scams. For instance, he said, one resident recently reported a call in which a scammer posed as a relative in jail in a foreign country and asked for money.