ShareThis Page

'Hitman scam' tries to extort money from Pennsylvanians

Matthew Santoni
| Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, 9:15 a.m.
Courtesy Whitehall Borough Police Department

Whitehall Borough Police are warning of a cell-phone scammer who poses as a “hitman” who will spare his victim for $5,000.

In a Facebook post Thursday evening , police noted that a resident got a text message from an unknown sender claiming he was hired to kill her, but would spare her life and tell her who had hired him if she responded to an email address and sent him $5,000. Police said such “hitman” scams have been affecting people in Pennsylvania and other states.

Responding to such messages only sends a signal to scammers that they've reached a working phone number and potential mark, The scammers then escalate by messaging back with personal details about the victim that may seem threatening but are really accessible to anyone over the Internet and not proof of anything, police noted.

Anyone who receives such messages should ignore them, or can report them to local police and/or the FBI.

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724 836 6660, or via Twitter @msantoni.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.