Extortion Death Threat Scam Emails

Extortion Death Threat Scam Emails

Scam emails have hit a new low with a variation that is becoming more frequent: death threat extortion emails. The email claims to come from a hot man who is threatening to assassinate the recipient unless the individual pays several thousand dollars to the sender of the email. The FBI first noted this in their IC3 alert posted on December 7, 2006 regarding e-mails claiming that the sender has been paid to kill the recipient and will cancel the contract on the recipient's life if that person pays a large sum of money. Some emails claim to be from the FBI in London. Others claim to be direct from the "hit man".

While the vast majority of these can readily dismissed as mass-emailed generic scams, due to the threat of violence inherent in these extortion emails, if you receive an e-mail that contains personally identifiable information that might differentiate your e-mail from the general email spam campaign, the FBI encourages you to contact the police.

Details of the typical scam death threat email

The subject claims to have been following the victim for some time and was supposedly hired to kill the victim by a friend, acquaintance or colleague of the victim. The subject threatens to carry out the assassination, and kill family members as well, if the victim goes to the police and requests the victim to respond quickly and provide their telephone number.

For examples of these emails, see these pages:

What to do

The FBI recommends that if you have experienced this situation please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint.

If the email contains information that identifies you personally (other than your email address alone; for example, address, complete name, etc.) you should contact your local or state police and local FBI office.

If you also forward a copy of the emails you receive here, we will examine them as well.



For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.