- Associated Press - Monday, September 16, 2019

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Authorities say a Georgia couple, posing as Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, bilked six victims out of $16,000 in gift cards in a telephone fraud scam.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva says Nicolas Brady Kennedy and Ashley Marie Walker of Loganville, Georgia, told nine people there were warrants out for their arrests and they could be satisfied by paying them in gift cards. Six paid; the victims were mostly elderly residents of northern Los Angeles County.

Officials say Kennedy is in custody in Georgia on a probation violation and a warrant is out for Walker’s arrest. They both face extortion and attempted extortion charges.

The sheriff’s department says detectives believe there may be more victims.

Authorities say police departments will never ask for gift card payments over the phone.

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