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Crime

FBI Warns of Email Death Threats Demanding Bitcoin (abc7.com) 95

An anonymous reader writes: "I will be short. I've got an order to kill you," the note said, demanding $2,800 in U.S. dollars or Bitcoin. "I switched from being upset about it to, 'I need to get the word out'," one of its targets told a local newscaster. They filed a report through the FBI's web site.

"If only 1% of people send money -- there's no overhead for them; that's money in the bank," one FBI agent tells the news team. A quick Google search finds recent reports of two nearly identical threats using the same text.

"I have been thinking for a long time whether it is worth sending this notice, and decided that you still have the right to know... I've got an order to kill you, because some of your activity causes trouble to several people... I decided to break some rules, as this will be my final order... As soon as I receive the funds, I will forward you the name of the man [this] order came from, and all other information I have."

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FBI Warns of Email Death Threats Demanding Bitcoin

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, 2018 @12:29AM (#56018385)

    I think investing in the currency of extortionists and criminals is a prudent move.

    I'll take one bitcoin for $20,000 please, and please store my investment on a web server controlled by the Yakuza.

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      Considering that just a few steps down the story Deanonymizing Tor: Your Bitcoin Transactions May Come Back To Haunt You [slashdot.org] exists this could start to get interesting.

      • The FBI has been known to have a backdoor into Tor facilitated by CalTech researchers for the entire span of its existence. The law is only applied to people the government can gain by applying it to, hordes of extortionists, drug dealers, Human traffickers, and the ilk are what make people want to pay for their services, not something they seek to eliminate.
        • The FBI has been known to have a backdoor into Tor

          They also have the pee tape.

          • /pol/ made up the pee tapes for the lulz, the Tor backdoor has been leaked by several people with source. You're free to look it up yourself.
            • /pol/ made up the pee tapes for the lulz,

              I'm as skeptical of the pee tape thing as the next guy (Although it would be goddamn hilarious if it was true), but wheres the evidence that /pol/ had anything to do with it. That would require them to have had access to the intelligence guy who did the report well before anyone really had any idea the guy was working on this project.

              Now /pol/ taking credit for it, just to make shit even sillier, thats a probability.

              But I could be wrong.

              • I'm as skeptical of the pee tape thing as the next guy (Although it would be goddamn hilarious if it was true), but wheres the evidence that /pol/ had anything to do with it. That would require them to have had access to the intelligence guy who did the report well before anyone really had any idea the guy was working on this project.

                /pol/ is about 40% intelligence agents and 60% Jews, as unbelievable as that may seem.

          • The FBI has been known to have a backdoor into Tor

            They also have the pee tape.

            I think you are right. Isn't that the only part of the Dossier that hasn't been proven yet?

        • The FBI has been known to have a backdoor into Tor ...

          +1 for reminding us about it
          -4 for not providing technical details or following up on a three year old story

          The "backdoor" was accomplished by having the Tor user access a web page containing a compromised Adobe Flash element. Obviously this would only work if the victim had not disabled Flash in their browser. If a user is going to do bad stuff and try to hide behind Tor, they should figure out how to run NoScript or at least disable flash. For some people this was apparently too technical. From the [wired.com]

    • Controlled by the Yakuza is great. Who steals from them?

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      I think investing in the currency of extortionists and criminals is a prudent move.

      You mean US Dollars, right? I'm afraid there aren't many alternatives, because extortionists and criminals have been known to use ALL currencies, although using one with inherently traceable transactions like Bitcoin would be most unwise -- that's why most criminals stick with USD or switched to Monero....

  • About death threats. The head of the FFC skipped the CES event because of threats. Slashdot whined that he did not attend because he could not defend his anti net neutrality standing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, 2018 @12:43AM (#56018429)

    "The scam e-mail, which first appeared in December 2006, purports to be a hired assassin, but is in reality a mass spamming looking to grab your personal information. Replying to the e-mails just sends a signal to senders that they’ve reached a live account. It also escalates the intimidation, the FBI said in a report last year."

    https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/news/stories/2007/january/threatscam_111507

    • by sheramil ( 921315 ) on Sunday January 28, 2018 @02:16AM (#56018675)

      "The scam e-mail, which first appeared in December 2006, purports to be a hired assassin, but is in reality a mass spamming looking to grab your personal information.

      Right. Because if someone emails you, saying "By the way, I've been hired to kill you," the very first thing you do is give them your personal information.

      • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Sunday January 28, 2018 @03:00AM (#56018803) Homepage Journal

        Yeah. As soon as they ask for that, a sane person should probably ask, "If you don't know who I am, I guess you can't kill me, then," and ignore all further emails.

        WARNING: SARCASM AHEAD. DO NOT ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING SUGGESTED BELOW.

        That said, if you want a response that would be far more entertaining (for anyone observing from a sufficiently safe distance), one could always up the ante. For example:

        Scammer: For $2,800, I'll give you the information about the person who hired me to kill you.
        Victim: I'll give you [some significantly larger amount], under one condition: First you have to bring me the severed head of the person who hired you to kill me.

        This is likely to provoke one of two reactions: A. They're the FBI. You spend a few months in a jail while your lawyers smack them around for entrapment, and if you're really unlucky, you spend the rest of your life with a cellmate named Bubba. B. They think you're the FBI. They flee to another country that lacks an extradition treaty with the United States and never contact you again.

        However, there is always the risk that you might come home one day to find a head-sized box on your porch. So one should probably have a passport ready before contemplating such a response, along with a plane ticket to a country that lacks an extradition treaty with the United States. :-D

        • by meglon ( 1001833 )
          You have new mail!

          "I have been thinking for a long time whether it is worth sending this notice, and decided that you still have the right to know... I've got an order to kill you, because some of your activity causes trouble to several people... I decided to break some rules, as this will be my final order... As soon as I receive the funds, I will forward you the name of the man [this] order came from, and all other information I have."

          Hit REPLY to respond.

          Dear Sir,

          I appreciate you coming forward to inform me of this unpleasant business, however I am already aware of whom it was who hired you, and as of 43 minutes ago, they are deceased. Also of note, our security services are already tracking your whereabouts thanks to information gleaned from your message. To show my appreciation, I will give you a full 24 hours to say goodbye to you family and friends, and to make peace with whatever God you choose to believe i

        • You forgot C. They're definitely not in the US already - there is no downside for them.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        "The scam e-mail, which first appeared in December 2006, purports to be a hired assassin, but is in reality a mass spamming looking to grab your personal information.

        Right. Because if someone emails you, saying "By the way, I've been hired to kill you," the very first thing you do is give them your personal information.

        "If you respond to the scammer, he will then try to intimidate you into sending the initial $3000, ostensibly to stop him proceeding with your murder. At this point, of course, he knows nothing about you. But, during your correspondence with the scammer, he may trick you into revealing personal information about yourself. And, once he has some initial details such as your name and location, he may be able to discover more information about you via publicly available records. He can then twist this informat

    • websites used also get requests like

      i_will_killl_you_today

      back then and recorded - so the nsa and five eyes know as they record traffic in Room 641A

  • Wrong 1% (Score:5, Funny)

    by duke_cheetah2003 ( 862933 ) on Sunday January 28, 2018 @12:59AM (#56018483) Homepage

    Man if they're only asking for $2800, they're definitely targeting the wrong 1%.

  • Fools (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Sunday January 28, 2018 @01:06AM (#56018509)

    People watch too many movies. Hired killers aren't Leon the Professional. They're Joe-Bob the alcoholic that your wife met at the bar and slipped $500 to whack you with a crowbar. That's why they get caught all the time, in the rare case that it's not just a sting to catch people trying to hire a contract killer.

  • Only $2800? (Score:4, Funny)

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Sunday January 28, 2018 @01:20AM (#56018545)

    I'd like to think that the guy hired to kill me would need a lot more than $2800 to double-cross the guy that hired him to kill me. How little did I piss someone off for it to only be worth $2800 to call off the killing?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'd like to think that the guy hired to kill me would need a lot more than $2800 to double-cross the guy that hired him to kill me. How little did I piss someone off for it to only be worth $2800 to call off the killing?

      You should really reread the death threat. It said nothing about calling off the hit, just forwarding you information on who the person who call for the hit. So, they can bring the information along and give it to you right before the kill you. You'll just be stupid enough to have spent $

    • they've got no overhead so they're really cutting into the cost of hiring an assassin. Sure I can call a hit out on somebody for a fiver, but your getting an untrained amateur instead of a licensed & trained murderer. The other day a 'ninja' showed up to kill me wearing black pajamas and what looked like a plastic sword. I gave him one star.
  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt.nerdflat@com> on Sunday January 28, 2018 @02:25AM (#56018697) Journal

    ... the person is *NOT* any kind of professional hitman, as the letter would suggest, unless he's somehow gotten displaced in time by about a hundred years or more.

    Honestly, the letter would sound a whole lot more convincing if there were a few more zeroes in the figure... at least 2 more, and more likely 3.

    • by Pembers ( 250842 )

      Considering that the aim of the scam is to convince the victim to hand over money... how many people could come up with $2,800 by tomorrow if they thought their life depended on it? Now add a zero or two and ask the question again. (Also, how many people could even tell you the going rate for a contract killing?)

    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      I remember seeing a stat on the average price of a contract killing. It was much lower than Hollywood would have you believe. IIRC, something like $5000. I'm not going to google it, but go ahead if you're curious.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        If a person is going to be paid to do something that will get them thrown in jail for an awful logng time if they should get caught, I'd think they'd expect to be paid enough to be assured of a nice little nest-egg when they got out.
  • the one that purports to come from l33t haxorz in .ru or .ro, claiming to have downloaded malware to your computer when you visited a porn site, harvesting your address book and social media contacts, and turning on your webcam and microphone to record you masturbating. "Pay us bitcoin or we'll send the footage to everyone in your contact lists. Your police can't do anything as we're not in your country."

    The spelling from the threat above is just a guess, my interpretation of what was actually received. The

  • Much threat (Score:4, Funny)

    by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Sunday January 28, 2018 @05:47AM (#56019193)

    So death

    Please send $2800 in DogeCoin to stop

    Wow

  • Bitcoin stealing has reached a whole new level. sad
  • The only measured and resonable response is "Bring it on Bitch!!"
  • I rarely read my email. And I don't believe in BitCoin. I wonder if they'd accept milk and cookies or my firstborn?

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