“I am a hitman. How much is your life worth?”

By Mark O’Neill

On Sunday evening, I received the most nerve-wracking instant message of my life, even though I knew right from the start that it was a fake. I decided to write this article in case you get hit by this online scam too. Being computer-based creatures, I figured some of the GAS readership were high risk targets.

When it happened, I was sitting where I always sit – in front of the computer, chatting via IM, and researching some possible blog stories. It was then that a new IM window popped up with the following message :

I am hitman. I been paid lot of money to kill you by good friend of yours. They waiting f0r your funerael announcement. What I want too know is how much youre life is worth?

Now I would be lying if I said that by this point my heart wasn’t threatening to explode and my hands weren’t shaking. But I knew that this was what the FBI was warning everyone not to fall for so I decided to call this joker’s bluff. I was first tempted to correct his grammar (I AM a writer after all) but I decided to get right to it.

Me : Maybe I should be phoning Interpol and passing on my chat logs to them? Last time I checked, death threats were a serious crime.

Him : They can’t help you. I kill you first. One shot to head. Police come to your funerael.

OK, it was time to see how good an assassin he really was. I’ve read Day of the Jackal. I’ve seen the movie, where De Gaulle almost gets it. I know what assassins do. Let’s see if this 15 year old in Nigeria with bad acne even knows what end of the gun the bullet comes out of.

Me : So I guess having read Day of the Jackal from cover to cover, you’ve done your homework on me then?

Him : ??????

Me : Fake ID, hair colouring, false teeth, or maybe even a sex change…..

Him : $40,000 to cancel contract on you. Deal? OR DO YOU DIE?

Me : Only $40,000? Man, I’m insulted. Am I only worth $40,000?

Him : You want to pay more? You very rich? OK then!!!!!! $60,000!!!!! Or I KILL YOU.

Me : I’m feeling generous. Let’s make it a nice round $100,000. But first you have to answer two questions. Get them all right and you get your cash. Look upon it as a game show. You do have game shows in Nigeria don’t you?

Him : What you want to know?

Me : OK, let’s go. Question one. Where do I live? If you are going to kill me, you have to know where I am. I want you to tell me my full address including street, house number, city, region and country.

<no answer. I waited for close to 3 minutes.>

Me : Question two. What do I look like? I want hair colour, height, body weight, age, nationality and any distinguishing features. I mean, as a serious assassin, concerned with your international professional reputation, you don’t want to kill the wrong guy now do you?

Him : LISTEN YOU BASTARD. YOU PAY ME MY F**KING MONEY OR I KILL YOU WITH ONE BULLET TO THE HEAD? DO YOU PAY ME OR NOT??!! THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE!!!

Me : Sorry, that was the wrong answer. Thank you for playing “Spot the Fake Assassin”. You go back home empty-handed. Goodbye”

Then I blocked him from my IM client.

Now a lot of people have since criticised me for being so cavalier with him, saying that he could have been truly dangerous and that he may very well know where I live, that I may have pissed him off so much that he will now Definitely come after me. Indeed, some have told me that my best course of action would have been to block him without saying a word, others have told me to contact the police immediately.

Personally I am inclined to ignore it and enjoy the laugh I had. My mind automatically files these idiots away with viagra offers and male organ enhancement sales pitches. Offering to cancel ficticious contracts on your life is just another way to extort money out of you and if you don’t give in to it, they’ll soon move on to the next scam. These brainless oafs only stick with what works.

What do you think? If this joker had contacted you, what would you have done? Would you have contacted the police? Would you have blocked him from your IM? Or would you have had some fun with him, like I did? Have you been a victim of a scam like this, or do you know someone who has?

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41 Responses to “I am a hitman. How much is your life worth?”

  1. good show. however, it should be noted that getting an IM like this in a public internet cafe might be kind of weird.

  2. good show. however, it should be noted that getting an IM like this in a public internet cafe might be kind of weird.

  3. ROFL, that was absolutely priceless..

    It happened to me on a couple of occasions via MSN, and strangely, each time it was a hot chick wanting to send me naked pictures of herself…

    We all know that geeks are sexy, but darn, this was too good to be true ;)

  4. Method that should of been done:

    Step 1: Play scared.

    Step 2: Pull nuke virus from your stash in a virtual pc

    Step 3: Send as a file named "Automatic$Transfer.exe"

    Step 4: send over instant message

    Step 5: Turn threatening computer into a brick

    Optional steps:

    • Display nuke logo before turning to brick.

    • Email all files under "My Documents" (if Windows) to an • address you handle, erase "ext3" (if Linux).

    • Install a VPN to their computer while a clever money animation plays to keep them occupied.

    • Open the cd drives if you don't want to destroy the computer, message "I have control", and then have the script execute 5 seconds later closing the cd drives. Watch the panic.

    :)

  5. Method that should of been done:

    Step 1: Play scared.
    Step 2: Pull nuke virus from your stash in a virtual pc
    Step 3: Send as a file named “Automatic$Transfer.exe”
    Step 4: send over instant message
    Step 5: Turn threatening computer into a brick

    Optional steps:
    • Display nuke logo before turning to brick.
    • Email all files under “My Documents” (if Windows) to an • address you handle, erase “ext3” (if Linux).
    • Install a VPN to their computer while a clever money animation plays to keep them occupied.
    • Open the cd drives if you don’t want to destroy the computer, message “I have control”, and then have the script execute 5 seconds later closing the cd drives. Watch the panic.

    :)

  6. Now a lot of people have since criticised me for being so cavalier with him, saying that he could have been truly dangerous and that he may very well know where I live, that I may have pissed him off so much that he will now definately come after me

    You have some really gullible acquaintances.

  7. Now a lot of people have since criticised me for being so cavalier with him, saying that he could have been truly dangerous and that he may very well know where I live, that I may have pissed him off so much that he will now definately come after me

    You have some really gullible acquaintances.

  8. ROFL, that was absolutely priceless..

    It happened to me on a couple of occasions via MSN, and strangely, each time it was a hot chick wanting to send me naked pictures of herself…

    We all know that geeks are sexy, but darn, this was too good to be true ;)

  9. There are a lot of such "jokers". You should not pay attention to them. Don`t waste your time negotiating with oafs.

  10. There are a lot of such “jokers”. You should not pay attention to them. Don`t waste your time negotiating with oafs.

  11. That's great, right up there with "Greetongs in jebus name! I wish for yoo to help with the transfer of…"

    What I would have done is told him I'd send the money, told him I'd sent it through western union (the standard for scammers), and send him backwards and forwards across Nigeria to the local WU office four or five times…each time sounding more panicked that the money hadn't arrived yet.

  12. That’s great, right up there with “Greetongs in jebus name! I wish for yoo to help with the transfer of…”

    What I would have done is told him I’d send the money, told him I’d sent it through western union (the standard for scammers), and send him backwards and forwards across Nigeria to the local WU office four or five times…each time sounding more panicked that the money hadn’t arrived yet.

  13. Nah, you done good, M. I wouldn't have had the brains to handle it that way. The local TV news stations had a warning about this/that skam going around. I think it was pretty well reported to law enforcement agencies. Also, I don't think any of them will do anything about it. Just like they don't hold the countries responsible for viruses coming out of their countries. My answer? Countries affected by viruses should be shut off 100% from trade until the hands of the virus peddlers are sent to the country complaining.

  14. Nah, you done good, M. I wouldn’t have had the brains to handle it that way. The local TV news stations had a warning about this/that skam going around. I think it was pretty well reported to law enforcement agencies. Also, I don’t think any of them will do anything about it. Just like they don’t hold the countries responsible for viruses coming out of their countries. My answer? Countries affected by viruses should be shut off 100% from trade until the hands of the virus peddlers are sent to the country complaining.

  15. I love what you did. My self I would have played with him in a such way as your self, Then contacted athoritys just b/c their are people (like my mother) who would fall for it and possibly give them money. But, I'd have my fun first. lol

  16. I love what you did. My self I would have played with him in a such way as your self, Then contacted athoritys just b/c their are people (like my mother) who would fall for it and possibly give them money. But, I’d have my fun first. lol

  17. in the country that i live in we dont have a western union so i could not send a scammer money even if i wanted to. lack of infrastructure triumphs over spammers!

  18. in the country that i live in we dont have a western union so i could not send a scammer money even if i wanted to. lack of infrastructure triumphs over spammers!

  19. How come you delete all the readers' comments that make you look, shall we say, not so sexy and audacious?

    • We don't delete commentd Hank, unless they're downright nasty or offensive.

      If you posted something It may have been caught by the spam filter… this thing isn't 100% effective.

    • Yeah your comment was probably beaten up and waterboarded by the CIA spam filter ("GIVE US ALL YOUR SPAM CONTACTS!!").

      Sorry, your comment is probably toast by now. That spam filter is a mean son of a gun. Really gets results.

  20. How come you delete all the readers’ comments that make you look, shall we say, not so sexy and audacious?

    • Yeah your comment was probably beaten up and waterboarded by the CIA spam filter (“GIVE US ALL YOUR SPAM CONTACTS!!”).

      Sorry, your comment is probably toast by now. That spam filter is a mean son of a gun. Really gets results.

    • We don’t delete commentd Hank, unless they’re downright nasty or offensive.

      If you posted something It may have been caught by the spam filter… this thing isn’t 100% effective.

  21. Pingback: Wordout - Fake Hitman EMails and IM’s

  22. I see. So you tortured and waterboarded my previous comment, squeezed out the essential information, changed the mistake in your text that I had so helpfully pointed out, and then blamed everything on the spam filter. That does sound like a CIA move.

  23. I see. So you tortured and waterboarded my previous comment, squeezed out the essential information, changed the mistake in your text that I had so helpfully pointed out, and then blamed everything on the spam filter. That does sound like a CIA move.

  24. This was really funny. I would have messed with him a little more. Maybe find out how he wanted the payment. Through paypal? ROFL, you could get his paypal account banned. Send a check? You could get his address. etc… :D

  25. This was really funny. I would have messed with him a little more. Maybe find out how he wanted the payment. Through paypal? ROFL, you could get his paypal account banned. Send a check? You could get his address. etc… :D