- Associated Press - Friday, October 20, 2017

WHITEHALL, Pa. (AP) - A police department in the Pittsburgh suburbs is warning people of a “Hitman” text-messaging scam making the rounds.

The scammers send messages to cellphones saying, “Hello. A friend/family of yours paid me to kill you. To spare your life you have 48 hours to pay the sum of $5,000.”

Police in Whitehall say anybody who gets such a text should ignore it, because responding to it just lets the scammers know they’ve reached a live phone account - and the scam will escalate from there. People who are unnerved by the texts can also contact the FBI.

The texts include an email address to someone calling themselves the “Icemankiller” and appears to be a variation on a scam that began in 2007, when the messages were sent via email instead of text.

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