The Baltimore Sun

So much for the sly swindlers we've come to know and hate: A new phishing scam making the rounds in Maryland skips the grifting and goes straight to extortion.

According to the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland, the scamster claims in e-mails written in something less than the King's English to be a hired assassin.

Here's an excerpt from one such e-mail, according to the bureau:

"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's we needed 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, $15,000 is all you need to spend."

Fortunately, the BBB says, there's no evidence any of these threats have been carried out - or any money lost. It says the FBI is aware of the scam.

Scary stuff nonetheless: one consumer messaged the sender to buzz off and threatened to call the cops - to which the scamster replied by sending the consumer a raft of his personal information.

If you receive this or a similar e-mail, BBB recommends you report it to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at

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