The Spammer-as-Hit Man Scam
The FBI is warning people not to be alarmed if they receive the latest e-mail scam going around, which purports to have been sent by a hit man who was hired to rub out the recipient. The message claims that the assassin will cancel the contract if the recipient agrees to pay a large sum of money.
According to the FBI advisory, the message warns that an individual was recently arrested for the murders of several U.S and British citizens who declined to pay up. The scam also says the recipient's name and other information was found on the last person targeted by the hit man, identifying the e-mail recipient as the next victim on the hit list.
As the feds appropriately caution, replying to any type of mass e-mail (for all its supposed specificity, this scam does not appear to address the recipient by name) is a bad idea that can only lead to bad things.
Here's a great rule of thumb for all unsolicited e-mail: When in doubt -- toss it out. Still, the FBI warns, "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."
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