Spammers are always looking for new ways to get victims to respond to them and part with their money.
Most of us have been notified we have won the lottery or that an African dictator’s assistant wants to transfer millions to our account. Now an email from a supposed hitman threatens to arrange a strange sex-related death with a horse called Henry unless he is contacted.
Urban Schrott, IT security and cybercrime analyst with internet security company ESET Ireland, has the full text of the spam entitled “Your Life is in Danger”. The spammer writes: “As I sit here sipping a martini it is my regretful duty to inform you that you have been selected for assassination.”
He also claims to be a professional assassin and encloses his certificate of assassination as proof.
“SMERSH have contacted me to assassinate you and have specifically paid extra for a particularly nasty death which makes it look like you died in a particularly bizarre sex game gone wrong,” the email continues.
However, the so-called international assassin, called Dai Teatime, who signs off with the words “toodle pip”, informs the recipient that he has found out that the sender is innocent of the supposed charge.
“Get back to me if you value your life with all due speed or else I regret I will have to carry out my original contract to assassinate you and, although he is quite charming for a horse, I don’t think Henry is the most sensitive of lovers.”
Mr Schrott warned that while the spam was very funny, it had the potential to cause a lot of harm.
He said spams were sent out at random so spammers don’t know who will get them. “But if they get a response from anyone, then they do know this person exists, offers feedback, and is a potential victim of a targeted attack they can prepare just for them,” he said.
“Best thing to do in such cases is just to delete all such emails and not reply to them at all,” he said.
Mr Schrott said anyone feeling genuinely threatened by an email should report it to the gardaí.