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One Elma couple already has lost thousands of dollars, as Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard warned on Monday about an out-of-state telephone scam about persons claiming to be related to homeowners and in need of fast money to cover lawyer fees or court fines or to post bail for arrests.

Howard said in addition to the Elma couple already defrauded by the scene, calls have gone out to persons in the Town of Boston. He warned that the caller begs the victim to go to a convenience store and get thousands of dollars worth of Green Dot or Moneygram prepaid cards. When the caller calls back he asks for the serial number of the cards so he can cash them to get out of his legal jam. Anyone getting such a call from an out-of state telephone number should contact the Erie County Sheriff’s Office at 858-2903, the sheriff said.