Email phishing scams have taken many forms in the attempt to scheme unsuspecting people out of their hard earned money. The most recent email scam reported to BBB | Greater Maryland sports a fresh and intimidating approach, scare tactics.
The scam, which is presently haunting Maryland residents’ email inboxes, demands that thousands of dollars to sent to the sender. If not, the sender, who claims to be a hired assassin, goes on to make a death threat against the recipient.
The emails vary in content, but often include misspellings and broken English. An excerpt from the most recent email threat received by BBB states the following:
“Someone you call a friend wants you Dead by all means, and the person have spent a lot of money on this, the person also came to us and told me that he wanted you dead and he provided us with your name , picture and other necessary information's we needed about you. Now do you want to LIVE OR DIE? As someone has paid us to kill you. Get back to me now if you are ready to pay some fees to spare your life, $15,000 is all you need to spend.”
According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), the extortion scam does not appear to target anyone specifically, and IC3 has not received any reports of money loss or threats carried out.
“If you receive this or any email scam, do not respond,” said Angie Barnett, president & CEO, BBB | Greater Maryland. “Responding to a phishing email only confirms your email address is a valid account and the sender may continue to harass you.”
One consumer responded to the email asking the sender to leave them alone and threatened to call authorities. The schemer then responded with personal information in attempt to validate his threat, which he likely obtained from an Internet search.
“Consumers need to be aware personal information is widely available through the internet with a simple click of the mouse,” Barnett added.
If you receive this or a similar email, BBB recommends you report it to IC3 through their online complaint form by clicking here.
For more information on phishing scams, go to www.bbb.org.