We’ve seen Nigerian scams, fake check scams, fake grant check scams, lost traveler scams, and even kidnapping scams. This scam has to be one of the more menacing ones going around today. It’s effective, because it’s intended to scare you. Luckily, it means nothing, you aren’t going to get assassinated, and you can sleep well knowing one of your friend’s did not actually put out a hit on your life.
The Hitman Scam
And the scam email…
This is the only way I could contact you for now, I want you to be very careful about this and keep this secret with you until I make out space for us to see. You have no need of knowing who I am or where I am from. I know this may sound very surprising to you but it’s the situation.
I have been paid some ransom in advance to terminate you with some reasons listed to me by my employer. It’s someone I believe you call a friend, I have followed you closely for a while now and have seen that you are innocent of the accusations he leveled against you. Do not contact the police or try to send a copy of this to them, because if you do, I will know, and I might be pushed to do what I have been paid to do. Besides, this is the 1st time I turn out to be a betrayer in my job. I took pity on you, that is why I have made up my mind to help you if you are willing to help yourself.
Now listen, I will arrange for us to see face to face, but before that, I need $12,000. I will come to your home or you determine where you wish we meet; I repeat, do not arrange for the cops and if you play hard to get, it will be extended to your family. Do not set any camera to cover us or set up any tape to record our conversation.
My employer is in my control now. Payment details will be provided for you to make a part payment of $5000 first, which will serve as guarantee that you are ready to co-operate, then i will post a copy of the video tape that contains his request for me to terminate you which will be enough evidence for you to take any legal action against him before he employs another person for the job. You will pay the balance of $7000 once you receive the tape.
Warning; do not contact the police, make sure you stay indoors once it is 8.30pm until this whole thing is sorted out, if you neglect any of these warnings, you will have yourself to blame. You do not have much time, so get back to me immediately you get this message.
Note of warning: I will advise you keep this to yourself alone, not even a friend or a family member should know about it because it could be one of them.”
Pretty damn frightening, right?
Not only does he threaten your life, he goes so far to threaten the lives of your family as well. He makes repeated threats and even goes so far as to demand you stay indoors after a certain time of night. The only way to spare your life is to pay the remaining balance on your “hit.”
The scammer is just trying to scare you into mailing them thousands of dollars for your life. The good news: it’s a total scam and you’re not going to die. The bad news: it’s still pretty scary.
If you do a Google search consisting of a few sentences in the email, you’ll see tens of thousands of reports from people who received the EXACT same email. I try and follow the news and I’m pretty sure there haven’t been any serial killers recently who managed to kill tens of thousands of people in a short amount of time. This sounds like something that would, at the very least, make the evening news.
I know it seems like poor advice to ignore a death threat, but this is a fear scam, plain and simple. Mark it as spam, ignore the threats, and continue life as normal. You can take it to the police, but they’re more or less going to tell you the same thing. I personally wouldn’t worry about it if I received the same email.
If you received a similar email, post it in the comments below complete with the email address used to send it. It’ll help protect others and inform them of the scam.