News: ‘Deadly’ e-mail

Published in the May 7th issue of The Edmonton Sun. News

‘Deadly’ e-mail

Edmonton Sun

“Someone you call your friend, wants you dead.”

This is the subject line for an e-mail scam currently being delivered to inboxes, Edmonton police warn.

The sender of the e-mail writes that someone known to the recipient of the e-mail has hired a hitman to kill the recipient, but for $5,000 the sender will ensure the reader won’t be hurt.

Edmonton city police Sgt. Howard Kunce with the robbery unit is warning the public to be aware of the scam.

“I can see that some Edmontonians, some Albertans, might be victimized by this,” Kunce said. “We prefer to get this information out and make people aware that if you receive something like this, please don’t participate, please don’t interact, please don’t reply or respond.”

Click here to see examples of the e-mail.

Though the “Hit Man” scam is not new – in fact, it has been making its way around the Internet since 2006 – Edmonton police have just recently received a local complaint about it, sparking the warning.

“It’s a little unusual for us to notify the public when we’ve only received one complaint, but this particular e-mail is a little disturbing,” he said. “We’re just hoping that raising awareness for Edmontonians will reduce the victimization to zero,” Kunce said.

And while the older death-threat scams have been linked to Russia, Kunce believes this particular one could be tied to Nigeria, where the old Nigerian letter scams originated.

“The e-mail comes from what appears to be the Nigerian area,” he said, saying the sentences in the e-mail are awkwardly worded, suggesting the writer’s first language is not English. “The Nigerian letter scam, in hindsight, you think, ‘Well, how can anybody be duped by this?’ And yet every year, somebody is… why people can perhaps be duped by something like this is a lack of awareness and a lack of public education into these types of crimes.”

If an e-mail such as this shows up in your inbox, report it to Reporting Economic Crime Online at

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