Police: Instagram scammer claims to be an assassin, threatening harm if not paid

A Michigan resident was scammed out of an undisclosed amount of money after reportedly being threatened by someone claiming to be a hired assassin, police said.

According to the Troy Police Department, the victim reported being contacted on Instagram recently by someone who offered to sell his artwork for $2,000 — for which he would receive $500. The victim received three digital checks totaling $2,700 and then was told he had to reimburse the sender for the overpayment before the checks cleared, police said.

The victim then blocked his number and was immediately contacted by someone from a different number who claimed to be a hired assassin threatening to hurt them if he didn’t comply and send the money, police said. He also received graphic photos, causing him to be concerned so he sent multiple payments to the caller via Cash App and Venmo, police said.

The victim then relayed what happened to a family member who realized it was a scam, prompting the call to police.


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