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Receive a text from a hit man? Police warn of scam
Southern Regional Police are warning of scam text messages purported to be from a hit man willing to reconsider his job.
The department has taken numerous reports from York County residents about the messages, which are being sent from firstname.lastname@example.org, according to a news release.
The message reads: “I've been paid to kill you but wish to spare you. Inform the police or anyone else you die. To be spared, contact email@example.com immediately via email.”
Southern Regional offers this bit of advice to anyone who receives the message:
“DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS TEXT!
“If you were to respond to the email, the other party would attempt to scam the recipient into sending them money in order to have them not have you ‘killed.’”
Southern Regional Detective Daniel Teague said he started receiving complaints Tuesday, all from residents who have phone numbers with Maryland prefixes.
Aside from the content, “the thing that stood out was that it was a text message, but who it was from was an email address rather than a phone number, which was kind of a red flag right of the bat,” Teague said.
The detective has seen scams before, but this was a new one for him – although a quick search online showed variations of the same scam dating back a few years, he said.
There’s not much police can do about the scammers, but Teague suggested residents who receive the texts report them anyway.
“Some people might have legitimate concerns that something might be going on, and we’d like to put their minds at ease,” he said. “We’d rather have them call than not — the old adage ‘See something, say something.’”