Over 300 reports of "hitman scam" in one hour

The Belgian federal Centre for Cyber Security (CCB) received 330 reports in one hour on Wednesday morning about a "hitman scam" in circulation. In the email, an alleged hitman asks for 4,500 euros in bitcoins to save the recipient's life.

The message, sent with the subject line "Your life is in danger", claims that someone has been paid to kill the recipient. "Someone you call a friend wants you dead at all costs and has spent a lot of money on this," the message reads. Within 48 hours, the person asks for 4,500 euros "to save your life" and includes a link to a Bitcoin wallet. A similar email is circulating in French, from '[email protected]' and signed by 'Angel de la mort'.

It is a scam, and many people realised this immediately on Wednesday morning, says Katrien Eggers of the CCB. The CCB's Safeonweb platform received 330 reports within an hour.

The CCB has seen threats before in which someone pretends to be a hitman, and calls this method the "hitman scam". The centre urges people not to respond to the messages, not to make payments or give out personal information, to delete the email immediately and to warn friends and family about the scam.

It is not known if and how many people have made payments. However, anyone who has transferred money is asked to contact their bank as soon as possible. If the threats continue, Safeonweb recommends contacting the police.



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