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.

Updated 1/16/07