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Hitman Scammer Back with Vengeance, Warns FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning computer users to be wary from the Hitman scammer who is back on the Internet. The scammer is known to threaten recipients over e-mail about taking their lives if they failed to pay a lump sum to the e-mail's sender, as reported by NETWORKWORLD on February 21, 2008.

Appeared for the first time in December 2006, the Hitman scam is pretending to be hired killer but actually, it is a technique to send a large number of spam to steal personal information, says the FBI. Users who respond to the spam simply make the sender feels that he has reached an active account and later on he sends more intimidating messages.

The fraudulent e-mails, which purport to be from the United States Department of State, claim that they are an inheritance of the victim who belongs to a foreign country. These e-mails try to appear legitimate by containing information gathered from the Website of the Department of State. The Hitman spam varies both in content and style with some even claiming to appear from London's FBI.

There have been a number of complaints received by the FBI from people in Idaho, Wyoming and Utah since January 2008, the agency reports. There are also reports of the scam from Pennsylvania, Washington, Michigan and Arizona. It also tries to enter inboxes with scare tricks to extort money from anyone who commits the mistake of replying. The e-mail is a scam is evident from the lot of grammatical errors it contains.

According to the FBI, one recipient received an e-mail in which the sender of mail says, "I have been paid $150, 000 in advance to terminate you..." and "you are innocent of the accusation, I will let you live if you pay me...."$80,000". An additional warning says not to contact the police.

Juan Becerra, spokesman for the FBI, said that the agency describes it 'the Hit man with a heart' scam. Essentially, it is about the perpetrator who negotiates for the recipient's life in return for money.

The FBI advises Internet users to discard the spam mail and contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center if any such incident occurs.

Related article: Hitman Scam E-mail makes place in U-M Inboxes

» SPAMfighter News - 2/29/2008

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