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Dentists, doctors, lawyers and other professionals in the Pittsburgh area have been targeted by a “hit man” e-mail scheme, receiving messages that tell them to pay up to spare their lives, the FBI said.

The e-mail, which was sent to most recipients around Christmas, tells the reader that there is a contract out on his life, generally for $50,000. It says that if the recipient sends the “hit man” more money than that — generally ranging from $80,000 to $150,000 — the hit man will leave him alone.

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