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Scammers Impersonating Allegheny County Sheriff's Office Steal $18,000 From Woman

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Scammers impersonating the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office are accused of stealing $18,000 from a woman.

The sheriff's office is warning that it will never ask for payments in gift cards after a woman was scammed out of thousands of dollars.

Someone calling himself "Lt. Mullen" called the 33-year-old and said she was mailed a subpoena to be an expert witness on a case, but because she didn't appear, warrants were out for her arrest, the sheriff's office said. The scammer, who was calling from the office's phone number, said she had 72 hours to post bond or she'd be arrested.

The sheriff's office said the victim bought $8,000 worth of gift cards and read the numbers to the scammers, who told her she needed to "prove their activation."

After that, she got a call from an 844 number claiming to be an FBI agent in Buffalo who needed $10,000 to help clear federal charges. The sheriff's office said she sent the money through Apple Pay, leaving her out of $18,000 total.

"The Sheriff's Office cannot stress enough that this is not how we conduct business involving warrants. We never ask for payment in the form of gift cards for anything involving the judicial system or any other aspect of our office," the sheriff's office said in a news release.

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