E-mail scam: Pay Up or Die

February 23, 2008 12:50:59 PM PST
Pay up or die. That's the message communicated in a threatening message circulating through e-mail.

Gina Huztler's e-mail box has been bombarded by scammers pretending to be her bank, the IRS and even the British lottery saying she had won.

"We work hard for our money," Huztler said. "And we don't need to be scammed."

But an e-mail this week from the name "Death Dealer RIP" was very different.

"It said death awaits you," Huztler said. "Open immediately."

The e-mail told Huztler someone was going to kill her if she did not sent $7,000 in return.

She said she was scared, nervous and unsure. "I kind of secluded myself in my house for a couple of days."

Huztler felt better after tracing the e-mail to a server in Great Britain.

"I just wanted to make sure it wasn't someone locally," she explained.

But Huztler did not know who to call about an international cyber threat. Cary Police see it as a local case of attempted extortion and they urge victims to always report.

Police say bringing the perpetrator of that kind of crime to justice is sometimes difficult. Police say they would begin the investigation and then decided the best direction to proceed.

They say Huztler did the right thing by not replying to the e-mail.

"The best way to stop this stuff is to not respond," Huztler said.

She hopes some authority somewhere can stop the anonymous threats.

Huztler said the e-mail was unsettling because of the nature of the e-mail and the fact that it was more than just another annoying attempt to scam.


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