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Mon City chief issues scam warning

| Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Monongahela police are warning residents about a telephone scammer posing as a city police officer.

Police Chief Brian Tempest said Carroll Township police notified him Friday after a township woman received a call from the scam artist Friday evening.

The caller ID read: “Monongahela Police” and contained a 724 area code number.

“The female caller identified herself as one of our police officers, using the proper name of one of our officers,” Tempest said. “She spoke with a Middle Eastern accent. She told the resident that she would be placed under arrest if she did not return the call to a certain phone number within 45 minutes.”

Tempest indicated the caller said the police would come to the woman's house to make the arrest.

“The scam victim raised all of the logical questions: who, what, why?” Tempest said. “She kept asking proper questions to the point that the scammer got frustrated and hung up on her.”

Tempest said it was unusual that the scammer was able to use a telephone connection that came up on the potential victim's phone ID as a police number.

The chief said he is aware of one scam in which victims are persuaded to call a specific number.

The victim is charged $30 for the initial hook-up and more for every additional minute.

“We want to let the public know the police won't call you and tell you to call another number within 45 minutes,” Tempest explained.

“Another red flag was that she had a Middle Eastern accent.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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