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Woman from India loses $1,700 to scammer making deportation threat

A female immigrant from India bought $1,700 worth of iTunes gift cards Tuesday after a scammer told her she needed to do that to avoid deportation.

The woman told Northeast District police that she received a call that came up on her phone as being from a 911 number. The caller claimed to be a U.S. immigration agent who ordered the woman to go to the Home Depot store at 2100 Elmwood Ave., buy the gift cards and read the card numbers to him over the phone. The woman said she bought 34 $50 gift cards.

The woman, who lives near the University at Buffalo South Campus, stayed on the phone with the scammer during the entire episode. She used her bank debit card to make the purchases.

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