For Immediate Release
August 28, 2008
FBI National Press Office
Alert: Hit Man E-Mail Scam Persists
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and its partner,
the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), continue to
receive thousands of reports concerning the hit man e-mail
scheme. The e-mail content has evolved since late 2006;
however, the messages remain similar in nature, claiming
the sender has been hired to kill the recipient.
Two new versions of the scheme began appearing in July
2008. One instructed the recipient to contact a telephone
number contained in the e-mail and the other claimed the
recipient or a “loved one” was going to be
kidnapped unless a ransom was paid. Recipients of the kidnapping
threat were told to respond via e-mail within 48 hours.
The sender was to provide the location of the wire transfer
five minutes before the deadline and was threatened with
bodily harm if the ransom was not received within 30 minutes
of the time frame given. The recipients’ personally
identifiable information (PII) was included in the e-mail
to promote the appearance that the sender actually knew
the recipient and their location.
Perpetrators of Internet crimes often use fictitious names,
addresses, telephone numbers, and threats or warnings regarding
the failure to comply to further their schemes.
In some instances, the use of names, titles, addresses,
and telephone numbers of government officials and business
executives, and/or the victims’ PII are used in an
attempt to make the fraud appear more authentic.
Unfortunately, these hit man e-mail scams
are still circulating and evolving throughout the Internet.
get ‘knocked off’ by these cyber criminals
who are trying everything they can to access your money
and personal information. Instead, protect yourself by
reporting any messages you get to the FBI through the IC3
at www.IC3.gov,” said Special Agent Richard Kolko,
Chief, National Press Office, Washington, D.C.
Below are links for the two previous public service announcements
published by the IC3 concerning the hit man scheme:
receive the latest information about cyber scams, please
go to the FBI website
and sign up for e-mail alerts by clicking on one of the
red envelopes. If you have received a scam e-mail, please
notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov.
For more information on e-scams, please visit the FBI's
E-Scams and Warnings webpage.
| Press Releases | FBI
Home Page |