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Man accused of scamming hospital workers in St. Louis

Sheriff Vernon Betts with the St. Louis Sheriff's Office said that a man had conned around $10,000 from nurses and doctors in the area.

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Sheriff's Office wants to get the word out about an alleged scammer targeting hospital employees in the area.

On Friday, Sheriff Vernon Betts led a press conference where he announced a man had contacted doctors and nurses at several hospitals including Barnes-Jewish, Children's, and Cardinal Glennon.            

“He's approaching people with a story that they've missed a court date or required paperwork, and now that they've missed it, they have to pay a fine,” Betts said.

The sheriff added that the man had convinced victims to go to the store and put money on cards to then send to him.

The accused imposter had used the name of a sergeant and another deputy.

Sergeant Donald Hawkins, one of them, actually spoke to the alleged fraud on the phone using a number one of the victims provided.

"He answered and said 'hello, I’m Sgt. Donald Hawkins with the City of St. Louis Sheriff’s Office.' I responded, 'well that's interesting because this is Sergeant Donald Hawkins from the City of St. Louis Sheriff's Office.' Of course, he immediately hung up,” Hawkins said.

He included that one person sent him $7,000 and others $2,000 on different occasions.

Betts stated that what the man had claimed was far from how his department operated.

"If you don't show up for jury duty, the judge is going to give me an order and you're going to have a sheriff deputy come and get you,” Betts clarified.

The Sheriff's Department has made an attempt to meet with the imposter but was not able to catch him.

Betts said he was working with hospital security to get them involved and warn staff.

A spokesperson for Barnes-Jewish Hospital said they warned staff about the scam when it first started months ago.

Those who receive a call from someone asking about a court date or for money, are asked to call the sheriff at 314-622-4131 to report it.

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