Hitman Payoff Scam Message
Emails and Skype messages claim that the sender has been paid to kill you but he will cancel the contract if you pay him a large sum of money.
© iStockphoto.com/ Dmitriy Shironosov
The messages are not from a hitman and are simply an attempt to extort money by scaring recipients into sending money to Internet scammers. If you receive such a message, do not reply. Do not send any money or personal information.
(Submitted, November 2013)
SOMEONE YOU CALL YOUR FRIEND, WANTS YOU DEAD.
I felt very sorry and bad for you, that your life is going to end like this if you don't comply, i was paid to eliminate you and I have to do it within 10 days.
Someone you call your 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 us that he wants you dead and provided us your names, photograph and other necessary information we needed about you. If you are in doubt with this I will send you your name and where you are residing in my next mail.
Meanwhile, I have sent my men to track you down and they have carried out the necessary investigation needed for the operation, but I ordered them to stop for a while and not to strike immediately because I just felt something good and sympathetic about you. I decided to contact you first and know why somebody will want you dead by all means. Right now my men are monitoring you, their eyes are on you, and even the place you think is safer for you to hide might not be.
Now do you want to LIVE OR DIE? It is up to you. Get back to me now if you are ready to enter deal with me, I mean life trade, who knows, and I might just spear your life, R25,000 is all you need to spend. You will first of all pay R10,000 then I will send the tape of the person that want you dead to you and when the tape gets to you, you will pay the remaining R15,000. If you are not ready for my help, then I will have no choice but to carry on the assignment after all I have already being paid before now, beside this is the first time i turned out to be a betrayer in my job.
Warning: do not think of contacting the police or even tell anyone because I will extend it to any member of your family since you are aware that somebody want you dead, and the person knows some members of your family as well.
For your own good I will advise you not to go out once is 7pm until I make out time to see you and give you the tape of my discussion with the person who want you dead then you can use it to take any legal action. Good luck as I await your reply to this e-mail contact: [removed]
(Submitted, June 2012)
Subject: (ASSASSIN) HAVE BEEN PAID TO KILL YOU..
I am a Killer Agent am from Kuwait i've no other job than to kill to survive...you have been betrayed by some one very very close to you.he payed me to kill you.i don't know what you did to him and i don't care to know..but the person wants you dead and right now your life is in my hands..you only have few days to live after that me and my men shall come for your life..my men are surrounding your house right now watching you and if you do anything stupid you shall receive a gun shot from us.. but i can help you if you will pay me double of what he payed me.........and i can also tell you who ordered us to kill you..but that will be after you have payed to save your life..your life is in your hands now.
PS: DO NOT TELL ANYBODY THIS.....
(Submitted, February 2011)
Subject: COOPERATE OR FACE THE BULLET
WE ARE INTERNATIONAL ASSASSIN, WE ARE DEMANDING FROM YOU A RANSOM OF $50,000 OR YOU WILL BE ASSASSINATED. SOMEONE AROUND YOU HAS GIVEN US YOUR INFORMATION'S TO KILL YOU.YOU ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLY AND ARRANGE THE REQUESTED DOUGH WITHIN ONE TO THREE DAYS.
ALL THE PERSONAL INFORMATION'S ABOUT YOU ARE WITH US EVEN YOUR PICTURE'S AND HOME ADDRESS WITH THE PLACES YOU NORMALLY VISITS ARE WITH US.THEREFORE IT IS BETTER FOR YOU TO COMPLY OR YOU FACE THE GUN. ALLOVER THE WORLD WE HAVE GANGS AND WE WORK WITH NETWORK WHICH IS UNTRACEABLE BY ANY AUTHORITY.
IF YOU WISH TO COMPLY WITH US REPLY BUT IF YOU DON'T, NEVER YOU REPLY THEN WE WILL EXECUTE THE JOB IN YOUR OWN BEDROOM OR ANYWHERE ANYTIME NO MATTER ANY SECURITY AROUND YOU.INFORMING THE POLICE ABOUT THIS ACTION WILL WORK AGAINST YOU BECAUSE WE WILL NOT GIVE YOU ANOTHER CHANCE THAN TO EXECUTE YOU. OUR INFORMER WHO IS CLOSE TO YOU IS GIVING US 24HRS INFORMATION ABOUT YOU.WHEN YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR HOME AND OTHER PLACES WE KNOW,THEREFORE COMPLY NOW OR FACE THE BULLET!!!
THANKS AND HAVE A NICE DAY.
(Submitted, January 2010)
Subject: Someone you call a friend wants you Dead
I am very sorry for you. It 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 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 wanted 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 her of your email address which I didn't tell her 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, $15,000 is all you need to spend You will first of all pay $2,000 then I will send a tape to you which i recorded every discussion I had with the person who wanted you dead and as soon as you get the tape, you will pay the remaining $13,000. 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 TELLING 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 10:00PM UNTIL YOU GET THE TAPE OF MY DISCUSSION WITH THE PERSON WHO WANT YOU DEAD THEN YOU CAN USE IT TO TAKE ANY LEGAL ACTION. GOOD LUCK AS I AWAIT YOUR REPLY
(Submitted, January 2007)
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 $50,000.00 in advance to terminate you with some reasons listed to me by my employers, its one i believe you call a friend, i have followed you closely for one week and three days now and have seen that you are innocent of the accusation, Do not contact the police or F.B.I. 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 is 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 $80,000.00 and you will have nothing to be afraid of. I will be coming to see you in your office or home determine where 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, You will need to pay $20,000.00 to the account i will provide for you, before we will set our first meeting, after you have make the first advance payment to the account, 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 later.
You don't need my phone contact for now till am assured you are ready to comply good.
These messages claim that a hitman has been paid a large sum of money to kill you. According to the messages, however, the hitman will cancel this contract and spare your life if you pay him a specified amount of money. The messages claim that "a friend" ordered the hit, but after monitoring you for a time, the assassin is now convinced that you are innocent and is therefore willing to let you live in exchange for a substantial payout.
However, the email is nothing more than an attempt to extort money. The scammers hope that the fear generated by such an overtly threatening message will be enough to convince the victim to pay up. With such large sums of money involved, the scammers would only have to con one victim to make the exercise worthwhile. The specified payout amounts in the emails may vary. In one example shown here, the "hitman" demands $80,000 overall with an initial instalment of $20,000. The scammer has hit pay dirt even if he only manages to extort this initial $20,000 before his victim wakes up to the scam. In the later variant shown above, the scam artist is asking for the lesser amount of $15,000, which is still a substantial sum for the simple act of randomly distributing a bunch of threatening emails.
In December 2006, the FBI issued the following alert about these scam emails:
E-MAILS CONTAINING THREATS AND EXTORTION
12/07/06—We have recently received information concerning spam e-mails threatening to assassinate the recipient unless the individual pays several thousand dollars to the sender of the e-mail.
The subject claims to have been following the victim for some time and was supposedly hired to kill the victim by a friend of the victim. The subject threatens to carry out the assassination if the victim goes to the police and requests the victim to respond quickly and provide their telephone number.
Warning! Providing any personal information can compromise your identify and open you to identity theft.
If you have experienced this situation, please notify your local, state, or federal law enforcement agency immediately. Also, please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov.
A variation of the same basic scam in which emails claimed to be from the FBI in London, prompted a second FBI alert in January 2007:
NEW TWIST CONCERNING THREAT AND EXTORTION E-MAILS
01/09/07—There is a new twist to the IC3 alert posted on December 7, 2006 regarding e-mails claiming that the sender has been paid to kill the recipient and will cancel the contract on the recipient's life if that person pays a large sum of money. Now e-mails are surfacing that claim to be from the FBI in London. These e-mails note the following information:
* An individual was recently arrested for the murders of several United States and United Kingdom citizens in relation to this matter.
* The recipient's information was found on the subject identifying the recipient as the next victim.
* The recipient is requested to contact the FBI in London to assist with the investigation.
* It is not uncommon for an Internet fraud scheme to have the same overall intent but be transmitted containing variations in the e-mail content, e.g., different names, e-mail addresses, and/or agencies reportedly involved.
Please note, providing any personal information in response to an unsolicited e-mail can compromise your identity and open you to identity theft.
If you have experienced this situation please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov.
Due to the threat of violence inherent in these extortion e-mails, if you receive an e-mail that contains personally identifiable information that might differentiate your e-mail from the general e-mail spam campaign, we encourage you to contact the police.
According to an article
in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the scam may be deliberately targeting professionals such as dentists. In a practice dubbed "spear phishing", scammers may target a select group that is made up of people that are likely to be prime candidates for a particular scam. In this case, the scammers focus on professional people who may be more likely to be in a position to pay the large sums demanded in the messages.
These scam emails are generally sent to a large number of people within a targeted group in the hope that one or more will respond and be drawn further into the scam. Thus, if you receive one of these messages, you should not reply or respond to the scammers in any way. As well as the direct attempts to extort money, the scammers may also try to harvest personal information from a victim so that they can steal his or her identity.
Since scammers send to a long list of email addresses, their initial messages are usually a generic, "one size fits all" template designed simply to elicit a first response. As the FBI alert quoted above notes, however, if the email is seemingly directed specifically to you and includes your name and/or other personal information, then you should certainly contact police.
In some later incarnations, the scammers make initial contact with victims via Skype or social media messages.
Last updated: November 5, 2013
First published: January 18, 2007
By Brett M. Christensen