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Ohio AG, TPD warn against new email scam

Portions of an email scam a person received, threatening them and their family if they didn't pay up. (WNWO/Marcus Espinoza)

A Toledo native and mother of four is warning others about a scary new email scam she received.

"It said urgent please read. It was through a hotmail address so that could be anyone, it could be anyone from the school, it could be a job, who knows," said Katie Erdman.

But it wasn't from anyone Erdman knew.

Instead, the email from a stranger demanded $8,000 for protection from an employer who wanted her dead.

The note demanded she not contact the police and to deliver the money in person or else her family would be hurt as well.

"I had 24 hours to contact him or else he was going to kill me or my family," said Erdman.

She says she tried looking up the scam online to see if it had happened to anyone else but couldn't find any trace of it.

"I looked up ransom note scams that were going on...there was nothing. There was nothing on the internet in any search engine I went too and so then I'm like who really wants to hurt me and then I went to the police," said Erdman.

The pink lettering, incorrect placement of dollar signs and wrong phrasing all are telltale signs of a scam says the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

Despite that, they say it's easy for people to get bullied into paying up.

"Am I being followed, am I being stalked, it's incredibly uncomfortable to think that maybe somebody has been watching you. It probably doesn't work that often, but it costs these scammers next to nothing if they hit one in a thousand times they're doing okay," said Jonathan Blanton with the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

If you've been a victim of a scam or have received an email like this, you can report the claim here.


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