Have you been targeted by an assassin?
You've Been Targeted by An Assassin and the Hit Man Has Warned You by Email-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:An alarming email from a person who claims to have been hired by someone to "terminate" you. The writer says one of the people who hired him is someone "...you call a friend." The writer says he's followed you closely for more than a week and has concluded that you are innocent of the accusations that resulted in your becoming a target for killing and that he'll call the whole thing off, tell you who hired him, and give you a tape recording of the person who hired him if you'll pay him $80,000. He requests an advance of $20,000 before setting up a meeting with you. He says not to contact the police or the FBI or else he'll be pushed to kill you.
The Truth:This is a variation of the Nigerian Advance Free scam. It's come to be known as the "hitman" scam. There is no real assassination plot, no tape recording with the person who hired the assassin, and no assassin. This email is from a crook who wants to scare you into sending the first $20,000 after which he and your money will disappear.
The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center says don't communicate with the crook. It just tells him that his email has connected with a functioning email address and he will try hard to convince you that he's for real. Some of the crooks have done research on their prey and may even send you a more personalized email that talks about your profession, members of your family, or other details that will alarm you even more. It doesn't mean that you've really been targeted by a hitman. It just means that the crook did his homework and probably through doing some surfing on the Internet.
A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:
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.