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McCreary residents warned of social worker impersonators

By Anya Weber

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 24, 2017) - State officials are asking McCreary County residents to be cautious if they have an unexpected visit from someone claiming to be a social worker after reports have been made of impersonators contacting several local families.


Staff from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) has been advised by the Kentucky State Police that KSP is investigating at least two people who have impersonated a DCBS social worker on three separate occasions, approaching residents at their homes or calling them and asking personal questions. KSP warns that one person is using a false metal badge as identification.

DCBS Commissioner Adria Johnson said that caseworkers working with families involved in protective services investigations would always carry proper state employee identification with them, and DCBS workers will never have a face to face encounter with a family without providing proper identification, Johnson said.

"Our staff's mission is to help, not confront families," she said. "Our investigators have state IDs and would likely be recognizable to families involved with our agency. If families are uneasy about someone unfamiliar claiming to be a DCBS social worker, they should ask for at least two forms of identification, including the state employee ID. If the person refuses, then the resident should contact police."

A social worker will not call a family without identifying who they are and will not ask personal information over the phone without the family being able to verify the worker's employment, Johnson continued. Also, a DCBS social worker will not send letters asking for personal information or identifying information in any form of written communication shared with a family.

Johnson said DCBS staff appreciate KSP's quick response in this situation.

"Both of our agencies protect the public," she said. "We are very concerned about the safety of McCreary County families and urge people to be attentive about who they share information with or let into their homes."

Here are some safety tips for residents who feel unsure about a visitor claiming to be a social worker.

  • Do not let them in your home; ask them to stay outside while you talk.
  • If a visitor says s/he is from a state social services agency, ask for two pieces of identification. For example: a state identification with "CHFS" on it, and a driver's license. Don't settle for a business card. Make this person identify themselves to your satisfaction.
  • Insist on seeing a photo identification, such as a driver's license. If the visitor does show you a license, copy its information.
  • If the visitor refuses to identify themselves, explain that you don't admit people into your home who won't provide proper identification. Politely ask them to leave, and then contact the police with a physical description of this person and their vehicle. Try to get a license plate number.
  • If you suspect this person is not a CHFS employee, using a phone or camera to videotape their departure may become useful in identifying this person later.
To report an incident, call the KSP Post 11 in London at 606-878-6622.



This story was posted on 2017-05-24 08:40:15
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