Woman Receives Email Death Threat - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/09/07

Woman Receives Email Death Threat

The email sender demands money for "saving her life." The email sender demands money for "saving her life."

Most email scams can threaten your financial security or even your identity. But now, a new one also threatens your life. The sender still wants money, but if you don't pay, someone called the "contractor" will kill you. And while it sounds like extortion, the email seems hard for some people to take seriously, including the woman being threatened.  

Like many of us, Erina Tandy gets all kinds of crazy emails. But Friday she received one she never expected. "Friday morning, I looked in my email, there was an email from the 'contractor,'" she explained. Not a contractor like home repairs, but the 'contractor" like a hit man.

The "contractor" claims he needs a total of $70,000 and $20,000 before their first meeting. "The 'contractor' said he was going to kill me in 72 hours if I didn't pay $20,000," Tandy explained.

According to the email, this all has to be secret. He is defying the orders of his boss to, "assassinate her" and is saving her life. But he never mentions Erina by name, even though he claims to have been following her every move over the last 30 days.

"If anyone had been following me for a month, they know I don't have $20,000 on hand to pay to save my life," she laughed.

Better Business Bureau president Ross Howard is a scam expert and read the letter and noticed a few more red flags. "I've never seen this particular spin like this before," he said. "He says assassinate. You assassinate presidents. I don't think she is a dignitary."

Howard seriously doubts the letter can be taken as anything more than a hoax. But he does advise anyone who gets something like this to contact local police or the FBI. "The very fact someone is requiring money with the threat of bodily harm does warrant extortion," he explained.

But Erina says the proof of the fraud should be she is still talking today. "It was Friday, so 72 hours are up. I'm not worried," she said.

Erina did contact the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department and their Financial Crimes Division. 

Below is a copy of the email Erina Tandy received in its entirety:

Attention!

I want you to read this message very carefully and wisely, and then keep the secret with you till further notice.

I'm a professional; hence you have no need of knowing who I am, where am from, until I arrange for a face to face meeting. I have been duly paid $50, 000.00 in advance to terminate your life for some reasons listed to me by my employer, its one I believe you call a friend. Surreptitiously, I have been following you closely for a month now and have seen that you are innocent of the accusation leveled against you.

In your best interest, do not contact the Police or try to send a copy of this to any security agents, because if you do, I will certainly know through the impeccable assistance of my secret agents, and will be forced to do what I have being duly paid to do, beside this is the first time I turned out to be a betrayer against the ethic of my profession.

Now listen, I will arrange for us to see face to face but before that I need the amount of $70,000.00, you have nothing to be afraid of. I will be coming to see you in your Office or Home determine where you wish we meet, do not set any Camera to cover us or set up any tape to record our conversation, my employer is in my control now. You will need to transfer $20, 000.00 to the account I will provide for you, before we will set our first meeting, after you have make the first advance payment to the account, I will provide you with the Tape that contains his request for me to assassinate you, which will be enough proof for you to charge him to Court (if you wish to do so), then the balance will be paid later.

You don't need my phone contact for now till am assured you are ready to comply, and being silence on this matter is very dangerous. The choice remains yours, and you have the next 72hrs to make that choice, otherwise you will live your limited life watching your back. A word is enough for the wise!

Sign,

The Contractor.

If you a receive an email like this, Ross suggests contacting the Internet Crimes Division or the FBI.

Here's another example of a similar email from About.com:

http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_hit_man_scam.htm

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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