I sometimes wonder if it isn’t a prerequisite that Nigerian scammer wannabes are required to graduate “comedy school”, before they get their scammers license and are set free to practice their newfound skills on the marginally intelligent.
In a new twist on an old theme (the infamous 419 scam), Nigerian scammers have upped the ante in a variant of their usual email scam nonsense – the hitman, “I’m gonna kill you” email. These fear-provoking emails (at least they’re intended to be scary), contain a threat that the recipient will be murdered by – are you ready for this – “Don Gunshot”.
But, Don is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill “I’m gonna blast ya out of your shoes” hitman. No, Don it seems, has a big heart. For a measly $5000, Don will take you off the list of his current projects. Just in case you might think that Don is no gentleman, he’s gone the extra mile and politely signed off on the email, with a kindly – Regard(s). Too funny!
Hitman emails are not a new threat – they’ve been circulating on the Internet since at least early in 2007. They come; they go, and come and go again.
So it’s hardly surprising to see that Symantec has just identified a new wave of hitman emails currently making the rounds. Although there are many variations of this email, here’s one example:
Click graphic to expand to original size.
Graphic courtesy of Symantec.
On a more serious note:
Don’t act fast as Don suggests. Don’t send $5000. Do contact the Police – this an attempt at extortion.
This scam illustrates the lengths to which these crooks will go to entrap the unwary and gullible. Unfortunately, the description “unwary and gullible”, is easily applied to substantial numbers of Internet users.
As an experienced and cautious Internet user, it’s safe to say that you will not be deceived by this type of clumsy attempt to defraud but, you might be surprised how often reasonably intelligent people are.
So, be kind to your friends, relatives, and associates, particularly those who are new Internet users, and let them know that there is an epidemic of 419 scams on the Internet. In doing so, you help raise the level of protection for all of us.
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