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Published April 26, 2012, 09:08 AM

Con artists use sheriff, senator in scam

AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) — The sheriff of Mower County is the latest public figure used by con artists who stole money from an elderly Austin woman.

AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) — The sheriff of Mower County is the latest public figure used by con artists who stole money from an elderly Austin woman.

Authorities say someone claiming to Sheriff Terese Amazi (AM'-ah-zeye) told Rhea Sampson she won a large sum of money, but needed to purchase prepaid gift cards at Walmart in order to receive her winnings. Officials say Sampson lost about $1,300 by going along with the scam. Amazi says she's angry that someone would impersonate a person placed in a position of trust.

KTTC-TV (http://bit.ly/IdJkiQ ) says con artists also used state Senator Carla Nelson's name when they went door-to-door to solicit money recently. The District 30 senator posted a YouTube video that warns her constituents not to donate to solicitors going door-to-door.

Both cases are still under investigation.

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