Police are warning people not to be tricked into handing over cash to fraudsters following the circulation of a scam email.
The email circulating in Lancashire claims to be from a sympathetic assassin who thinks that the recipient of the email has wrongly had a contract taken out against them.
The fraudster offers to forgo his job in return for a large amount of money; he will then provide proof of who has taken out the ‘hit’ in return for even more cash. In the email the recipient is warned not to contact police or tell friends or family.
These types of scam emails are generally sent to a large number of people within a targeted group in the hope that one or more will respond and be drawn further into the scam.
Follow this advice if you receive an email from an unknown source asking you for money or personal information:
• Know who you are dealing with – be suspicious if contacted out of the blue by someone you haven’t heard of. Don’t be fooled by official looking letters, websites etc.
• Be sceptical – if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
• Take your time – don’t be pressured into making snap decisions. Discuss it with family or friends or contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.
• Protect your financial information – never give personal information, including your bank details to someone you don’t know or trust.
• If in doubt, delete the email.
• If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam – don’t feel embarrassed or suffer in silence. Report it to Action Fraud.
DC Mark Aldridge, of Lancashire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “Anybody receiving this kind of email could feel intimidated and genuinely concerned that their safety is at risk. In actual fact this email is simply a spin-off from other emails designed to scam the public out of their money.
“The police take these matters extremely seriously, however, the poor English used is indicative of the fact that this scam originates from overseas. This makes investigation extremely difficult due to the various jurisdictional issues. We are looking into the matter but if anybody receives such emails our advice is to simply block the sender and delete the email.”
Read more about the fraud on the Lancashire Police website.
Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.
To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.