Death threat email a concern
A CHILLING scam email a Bundaberg man received last week is purportedly from a hitman who demands $10,000 not to carry out a contract to kill the recipient.
In the message the hitman says he has been contracted to kill the recipient by someone close to them.
Ian Gaffel, who passed the email on to the NewsMail, said he received many scam emails every day.
But he was concerned about this one because if it was received by somebody who was a bit isolated it could cause a lot of fear.
“I was thinking if you were an elderly person or a single mum sitting at home you could be taken in,” he said.
Mr Gaffel said while most scam emails were based on greed, this one was based on fear.
A spokeswoman for the Office of Fair Trading said the death threat scam was well known to authorities, as similar versions included death threat spam text messages from scammers pretending to be a hired hitman to extort thousands of dollars from their victims.
“Every year the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) receives complaints from Queenslanders who have received scams through the mail, online or by telephone,” she said.
“Since January 1, 2008, OFT has received 5986 complaints about scams.”
She said if anyone's life was threatened they should contact Queensland Police.
“Some common types of scams include invoice fraud, fake lotteries and sweepstakes scams, fax back scams, tax or bank refund scams and fake inheritance scams,” she said.
Bundaberg Police District Inspector Kevin Guteridge said police recognised the anxiety caused as a result of emails such as this and it was disturbing that some people attempted to extort money through such means.
“Obviously most of the demands are a fraudulent attempt by unscrupulous persons to extract money from innocent people,” he said.
“In making these demands perpetrators do commit a number of criminal offences which, dependant upon their location, they may be prosecuted for.
“If anyone has any concerns regarding the receipt of these messages I encourage them to contact police who will be able to provide further advice.”