Safety alert issued for new threatening e-mail scam
A new scam is appearing in U-M e-mail boxes – the hit-man threat. Instead of attempting to obtain account or personal identification information, the scam is preying on recipients’ fears and demanding money. At least two University employees have reported to the Department of Public Safety that they received e-mail messages that included threats to kill the recipients if they did not pay thousands of dollars.
The FBI is warning the public that these messages are hoaxes and should be deleted. Replying to the e-mails sends a signal to the senders that they’ve reached a live account and tends to escalate the level of intimidation.
The e-mail messages are very strongly worded and can be scary. Law enforcement officials indicate recipients of these messages are not in personal danger, but can check with their local police if they feel threatened.
More information about this scam can be found on the FBI’s Web site at www.fbi.gov. Use the search function for “hitman threat.”
DPS also reminds employees not to provide personal information, such as social security, account or personal identification numbers, to any e-mail requestor unless it is a business transaction you have initiated. Regularly review bank statements to monitor for unauthorized withdrawals. If unauthorized activity is suspected, immediately contact the bank’s loss prevention or security department and the police.
For more tips on avoiding identity theft go to identityweb.umich.edu.