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'Hit Man' Scam

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Netlore Archive: Spam message supposedly sent by a hit man hired to 'terminate' the recipient demands a large sum of money to cancel the mission.

Description: Email hoax / Scam
Circulating since: Dec. 2006
Status: False (see details below)


Example #1:
Email text contributed by an AOL user, Dec. 4, 2007:

Dear Friend,

Goodday to you.

Am very sorry for you my friend, is a pity that this is how your life is going to end as soon as you don't comply. As you can see there is no need of introducing myself to you because I don't have any business with you, my duty as I am mailing you now is just to KILL/ASSASINATE you and I have to do it as I have already been paid for that.

Someone you call a friend wants you Dead by all means, and the person have spent a lot of money on this, the person also came to us and told me that he want you dead and he provided us with your name, picture and other necessary information's we needed about you. So I sent my boys to track you down and they have carried out the necessary investigation needed for the operation on you, and they have done that but I told them not to kill you that I will like to contact you and see if your life is Important to you or not since their findings shows that you are innocent.

I called my client back and ask him of you email address which I didn't tell him what I wanted to do with it and he gave it to me and I am using it to contact you now. As I am writing to you now my men are monitoring you and they are telling me everything about you.

Now do you want to LIVE OR DIE? As someone has paid us to kill you. Get back to me now if you are ready to pay some fees to spare your life, If you are not ready for my help, then I will carry on with my job straight-up.

WARNING: DO NOT THINK OF CONTACTING THE POLICE OR EVEN TELL ANYONE BECAUSE I WILL KNOW. REMEMBER, SOMEONE WHO KNOWS YOU VERY WELL WANT YOU DEAD! I WILL EXTEND IT TO YOUR FAMILY, INCASE I NOTICE SOMETHING FUNNY.

DO NOT COME OUT ONCE IT IS 7:30PM UNTIL I MAKE OUT TIME TO SEE YOU AND GIVE YOU THE TAPE OF MY DISCUSSION WITH THE PERSON WHO WANT YOU DEAD AFTER YOU HAVE COMPLIED WITH MY DEMANDS, THEN YOU CAN USE IT TO TAKE ANY LEGAL ACTION. GOOD LUCK AS I AWAIT YOUR REPLY

Regards

Don Vanuchi


Example #2:
Email text contributed by Sharon H., Dec. 26, 2006:

Subject: Merry Xmas to you and stay alive...........

Attention ,

I Want you to read this message very carefully, and keep the secret with you till further notice, You have no need of knowing who i am, where am from,till i make out a space for us to see, i have being paid $150, 000.00 in advance to terminate you with some reasons listed to me by my employer,its one i believe you call a friend and a Home Builder you do business everyday with,i have followed you closely for one week and tree days now and have seen that you are innocent of the accusetion,Do not contact the police or try to send a copy of this to them, because if you do i will know, and might be pushed to do what i have being paid to do,beside this the first time i turned out to be a betrayer in my job.

Now listen,i will arrange for us to see face to face but before that i need the amount of $150,000.00,you have nothing to be afraid of,i will come to your office or home, so determine when you wish we meet,do not set any camera to cover us or set up any tape to record our conversation,my employer is in my control now,$80, 000.00 will be paid to the account i will provide for you,after our conversation,i will give you the tape that contains his request for me to terminate you, which will be enough evidence for you to take him to court(if you wish to), then the balance will be paid.

You don't need my phone contact for now till am assured you are ready to comply good.

NOTE:I have you whole details.

Lucky You.


Analysis: While death threats and extortion demands ought never to be taken lightly, recipients of messages like the ones above can take solace in the fact that they are boilerplate texts. Random folks all over the country have received identically-worded messages, the FBI informs us. Federal agents are already investigating this bizarre new form of spam.

It is known so far that the messages are originating from Moscow, Russia (note the fractured English grammar) and are being emailed to addresses apparently selected from professional databases (i.e., they target recipients chosen because they presumably have the resources to pay an extortionist). As FBI cyber crime supervisor Bill Shore noted in an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "All they're looking for is one guy to pay off. Then their job is done."

Recipients should not reply

The most important thing to know about these emails is that if you receive one, you shouldn't respond. In addition to soliciting your cash, the perpetrators hope to persuade you to share personal data so they can steal your identity.

The FBI encourages recipients of the scam message to file a report online at www.ic3.gov (the Internet Crime Complaint Center).


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Sources and further reading:

2008: 'Hit Man' Scam Spam Returns
Urban Legends Blog, 19 February 2008

The Spammer-as-Hit Man Scam
Washington Post Security Fix blog, 12 January 2007

FBI Warns Public About 'Hit Man' Email Scam
WTHR-TV News, 11 January 2007 (with video)

'Hitman' Emails Rattle Recipients
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9 January 2007

Threatening Email Targets Kitsap Business Leaders
KIRO-TV News (Kitsap, WA), 9 January 2007


Last updated: 11/07/11


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