Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Hitman Scam Definition:

A consumer scam usually conducted by email in which the recipient is approached by an alleged assassin who seeks money in lieu of completing his task.

A form of consumer scam perpetrated on consumers in which an email is received by the targeted consumer which purports to have been written by an assassin or a hitman, who alleges to have been hired by some unnamed party to kill the recipient. Typically, the sender demands a large sum of money in return for not carrying out the mission.

There is no underlying contract on the recipient's life. The entire scam seeks to intimidate and chill the recipient and extort cash. Recipients are usually chosen carefully by the scammers.

Hitman scams constitute serious criminal offences.

A sample hitman scam email (from Phonebusters.com):

"Hello. I am very sorry for you ... is a pity that this is how your life is going to end as soon as you don't comply. As you can see there is no need of introducing myself to you because I don't have any business with you. My duty as I am mailing you now is to KILL you and I have to do it as I have already been paid for that. 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 about you. So I sent my boys to track you down and they have carried out the necessary investigation needed for the operation on you, and they have done that but I told them not to kill you that I will like to contact you and see if your life is important to you or not since their findings shows that you are innocent. I called my client back and ask him of your email address which I didn't tell him what I wanted to do with it and he gave it to me and I am using it to contact you now. As I am writing to you now my men are monitoring you and they are telling me everything 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, $7,000 is all you need to spend You will first of all pay $3,000 then I will send a tape to you which I recorded every discussion i had with the person who wanted you dead and as soon as you get the tape, you will pay the remaining $4,000. If you are not ready for my help, then I will carry on with my job straight-up. WARNING: DO NOT THINK OF CONTACTING THE POLICE OR EVEN TELLING ANYONE BECAUSE I WILL KNOW.REMEMBER, SOMEONE WHO KNOWS YOU VERY WELL WANT YOU DEAD! I WILL EXTEND IT TO YOUR FAMILY, IN CASE I NOTICE SOMETHING FUNNY. DO NOT COME OUT ONCE IT IS 7:00PM UNTIL I MAKE OUT TIME TO SEE YOU AND GIVE YOU THE TAPE OF MY DISCUSSION WITH THE PERSON WHO WANT YOU DEAD THEN YOU CAN USE IT TO TAKE ANY LEGAL ACTION. GOOD LUCK AS I AWAIT YOUR REPLY EMAIL."


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