SCAM ALERT – Extortion email scam

Scam “hitman” type emails targeting Queenslanders are on the rise.  Scammers are sending ransom emails containing terrifying threats designed to frighten you into handing over your money, Queensland Police say.

The sender claims to be a hitman hired by someone you know. The only way to save your life is by sending sums of money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.  The sender claims to be watching you and warns against contacting the police or informing your family.

Before allowing yourself to become spooked by the idea that someone has been hired to cause harm to you, take a minute to re-read the e-mail, this time looking for any indications the sender actually knows anything about you:

Are you addressed by name?

Does the sender mention a location you frequent as one of the places they’ve followed you?

Does the sender demonstrate they know your address or your phone number?

Does the sender name your place of business?

Does the sender mention any of your family members by name?

What you should do if you receive any type of extortion email:

  • Delete the email immediately. These messages are sent at random, so they won’t know if they have reached a live email address or number unless you respond.
  • Do NOT respond to these emails. If you do, the scammers will escalate their intimidation and attempts to get your money.
  • Never send details or personal information to anyone you don’t know or trust.

If you are concerned for your safety, contact the police immediately.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).