back to article 419ers crank up the menaces

You know how it is - things are a bit quiet in the internet cafes of Lagos, people have sussed MARIAM ABACHA doesn't really have $30,000,000 (THIRTY MILLION DOLLARS) in gold bullion looted from Saddam Hussein's personal vault, and so it looks like it's time to up the email scam ante. Well, what about trying a line of attack …


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  1. Pete mcQuail

    He missed

    the 'Have a nice day' from the sig.

  2. Gordon Pryra
    Black Helicopters

    I cry Humbug at this one

    Its just a cynical marketing ploy by El Reg to increase the value of the advertising space on this page

    How much did Microsoft pay you to put their "Ninjer advert" on there?


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Some friend?

    If they'd said 'your ex-friend' it could be a tad more believable...

  4. Anonymous Coward


    Now gone from simple fraud to demanding money with menaces, blackmail, threatening behavour etc.

    So from a few months in the clink before, now moved to 10 -20 years (UK) or much worse in Lagos.

    I suggest you forward this to the police who will promptly add you to the DNA databse, just in case....

  5. michael hutcherson

    Mr Killer?

    Well, with a name like that he was destined to be an assassin !

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Oh Good

    I look forward to one of these emails, I have an email account specially set up for laughing at 419 scams that people try, I'd like to reply to this one with some fake information and see what stories they make up.

  7. Edwin

    Not 419

    Although it's the same perps, I don't think this qualifies as 419 fraud.

    I think it's pretty simple extortion.

  8. Secretgeek

    Ha haha haha ha ha..

    'send you to death'?

    I've read about Death. Nice guy, penchant for black, rides a horse called Binky.

    Quality. Unfortunately, my overdraft won't stretch to $3000 usd so I'll have to spend the next 10 days looking over my shoulder for my would be assas......

    Damn, I hope I got that joke in first.

    Mines the one with the giant target on it.

  9. Keir Snelling

    Can't wait to get one of those...

    My reply, I think, would be along the lines of,

    "Come and have a go, if you think you're hard enough".

    Their approach really does up the ante though. Attempts to defraud me I can take in my stride,and ignore, but threats to my life? Heckles rise. I might even whois the sending server's ip.

    419eater could have a field day too. Instead of getting photo's of silly men with loaves of bread on their heads, we could play contract killer off against contract killer.

    Don't kill me, I've got use of your services for multiple targets. Show me some evidence of your previous work before I send the cash.

  10. andy rock


    best i've seen in a good while!

    "but I ordered them to stop for a while and not to strike immediately because I just felt something good and sympathetic about you"

    aw, thanks. too kind.

  11. Dennis

    I might just spear your life

    "I might just spear your life"

    Can you be arrested for demanding money with patois?

  12. Robajob


    I give him $9000 and he spears my life anyway? Bargain.

  13. Paul
    Thumb Up


    Just fancy that, being an international jetsetting hitman and having the surname 'Killer'. Beats the Dave Bin-man and Harold Chiropodist that I happen to know.

  14. Simon Greenwood

    A warm feeling can be obtained

    from the knowledge that the people sending the mails are actually being conned in the way that they think they are conning us. Many are paying shysters to be told ways to make $$$ fast with the assurance that the gullible euros will fall for it. Still can't beat the Nigerian astronaut trapped on the ISS though.

  15. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Holding a Grudge is so Yesterday Man

    "In that case, the intended victim was marked for the chop "by someone you offended sometime ago". This caused a bit of a kerfuffle down here at Vulture Central since our list of possible offendees ran to hundreds, if not thousands of names."

    Life's a Bitch, El Reg. .... Proving there is a GOD. ...... :-)

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Your polonium is in the mail...

    Hey, I have received a few of those a couple of months ago. Still kicking.

  18. Ros
    Paris Hilton

    They don't make psychos like they used to

    Time was, you couldn't say you were a real celeb unless you got a few death threats. Now they're handing them out willy-nilly, how will we be able to tell the truly famous from the merely Z-list?

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Britons, rejoice

    At last, we can benefit from this. They're asking for $9000 in total. Note that this will probably exclude sales tax and we'll benefit from a direct exchange rate deal!

    None of this $9000 / £8000. At last, we reap the benefits

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just like the gentleman gangsters of old

    I bet the Krays wrote their victims nice letters giving them the chance to get off the hook too.

    When he's finished in the internet cafe, Mr Killer'll be off to have tea and cakes wiv 'is mum.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hitmen modalities

    These scumbags have been around for at least a year or two. The scambaiter and 419eater are full of the nasty little buggers, where they receive a thorough keelhauling. Not quite news.

  22. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Heads he wins, tails you lose...

    So it's either don't pay up and become dead. Or pay up and get "speared..."

    Rock, hard place...

  23. Ivor

    @Keir Snelling

    "I might even whois the sending server's ip."

    er, given the reply to is an address I suspect they're sending them out that way too.

  24. Chris

    I got one a few weeks ago

    I kept it, because it was just too good.

    ----- Original Message -----

    From: "Timothy Killer" <>

    To: me

    Sent: Friday, July 04, 2008 2:08 PM

    Subject: BE VERY CAREFUL Christopher

    >I am very sorry for you Christopher, is a pity that this is how your life is

    > going to end as soon as you don't comply. As you can see there is no need

    > of introducing myself to you because I don't have any business with you,

    > my duty as I am mailing you now is just to KILL you and I have to do it

    > as I have already been paid for that.





    > GOOD LUCK AS I AWAIT YOUR CALL AT 585-991-3301 OR 585-237-3346.

    They're New York numbers - an interesting twist.

  25. Neil

    You mean it's not real?

    Damn, maybe the email I had today from the lovely-sounding Russian girl who wanted a relationship with me isn't real either.

  26. Dave Harris
    Dead Vulture

    Seen it

    A client reported the same thing, well, almost word for word, back in February, from someone going by the name of They were asking for $15k, so they look like they're dropping their prices a bit.

    I think the customer's IT rep forwarded it to their local FBI field office, who, as far as I'm aware, tend to take a rather dim view of extortion, assassination and the like.

  27. Michael Jarve

    You know...

    He cannot be that good of an assassin if he takes pity on his mark, and more so if he thinks he can bribe his way out of it.

    I'd simply tell him that he'll never work in this town again. Coward.

  28. Sam

    simple reply

    "Try it, you won't be the first."

  29. Anonymous John

    @ Oh Good

    "I look forward to one of these emails"

    Just reply to this one. Lads send them out in bulk, and won't notice a reply from someone they didn't email.

    Hired killer email addresses tend to get closed pretty quickly though, so it may well bounce.

    See for an example of one assassin lad being baited.

  30. Joey

    I think they sent this email to the wrong person!

    To whom it may concern, I'm going to kill you...

    Not if I kill you first!

    At least he won't end up brain dead - he hasn't got one!

  31. Tony


    Dear Mr Killer,

    thank you for your frank and honest email.

    As my friend has provided you with 'all necessary information you needed' about me, they no doubt mentioned my black belt in karate, my extensive collection of automatic weapons, my elite team of ninja bodyguards and the fact I live in an impenetrable fortress, surrounded by a moat filled with ill-tempered mutated sea bass.

    They have no doubt given you a map showing the only path through the large minefield surrounding my property, a way to escape detection by the numerous heavily armed drone aircraft I have on loan from the US military and a long pole to assist in vaulting the moat and many razor wire fences.

    In light of this information, I have little choice but to agree to your very reasonable offer.

    Sadly, I was recently involved in a coup attempt in a small African nation and as a result the world bank has frozen all my assets while there is an investigation. I would however be able to release the money you requested, plus a modest handling fee if I was able to use your bank account to help facilitate the transfer. Due to the unfortunate situation with the world bank, I would need you to advance me the money to cover the administration of the transfer, but this should only run to a couple of thousand dollars and I would of course reimburse you once the money is released.

    Please arrange to wire me the money as soon as possible.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    419teacher says...

    Inventive, creative but not really 419 material after all this isn't offering the target anything by way of a carrot now is it? No no no - allowing you to live is not a 'carrot' it's just an offer to 'remove the stick'. Pure 419 feeds on greed, not fear. What you have there, and I pause now for the requisite dramatic effect, is... a 'death threat', and not a particularly nice one either.

    Right... now then, if he'd said my "wife"... or an "ex-girlfriend".... I might have been taken in. Ah, no... I wouldn't, the ongoing court case would raise too many eyebrows - she'd never make that mistake... but if he'd said "a professional competitor" then I ...ah no... not much call for dead biologists really... but if he'd used "proper English" I might have been.... ah no it was all a bit iffy, erm, if he'd kept to the facts then I .... no, that would have made it even more rediculous... well, I suppose if he'd used a normal name then I'd have been more inclined to .... ... no... actually, who in their right mind warns their mark that they are about to be assassinated by someone who is prepared to accept a bribe? REALLY!!! How very *very* amateur.

    In hindsight, if he knew anything at all about me then he'd also know that I don't have anything like the sum of money that he wants. Doesn't he read the papers - there's a credit crunch... ah of course... no, he doesn't read, that's why he writes like that.

  33. Jon Farina
    Thumb Up

    Now that is good

    Brilliant Tony Brilliant!

  34. Luke

    Thinking too much but...

    If I did pay him to spear me, then wouldn't he still kill me anyway? My friend has already paid to have me killed, if he doesn't kill me then my friend will be pretty annoyed. The killer just wants to double his money before he kills me anyway...

    I would be better off hiring someone myself to try and get this guy before he gets me. Far better investment of my hard-earned usd. Perhaps I could also find out which of my friends is trying to bump me off and perhaps try to discover how I so offended him/her.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Begs the question....

    If people fall for the Nigerians, perhaps we, as native speakers of English, should give this scam a try. Spear me your criticism, the economy is getting bad in the US.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    The, um, *dead* giveaway for me?

    Is that none of my friends could possibly afford the services of a hitman. At least, not a hitman who'd be competent enough to worry me any. :^)

    P.S. Mr Killer, thank you for the heads up. I won't be contacting the police, because they're a bunch of apathetic wasters who'd rather sit in a cozy office watching CCTV screens than get out in the fresh air protecting the proles, but you should expect a particularly nasty surprise as I happen to have one or two "friends of friends" who have links to organizations whose members are known for wearing black balaclavas and having a few automatic weapons buried out in the woods somewhere. I helped fix one of their computers one time, so I'm owed a favour.

    Dead vulture because, heh heh, that's you, that is, Mr Killer. :-P

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mr Killer

    I blame his parents for giving him the name. What else was he supposed to do with his life? He couldn't very well get a job in a school or hospital could he?

  38. Robert Moore

    What has this world come to?

    I mean really if you can't trust a hired killer to finish the job, who can you trust?

    Back in my day if you took a contract you came through. This new generation of hit men are just not worthy of the name. I will be sending back my union card at once.

  39. TimM

    My response

    Dear Mr Killer,

    Unfortunately I have already taken out the services of another hitman on my own life as I want to end it all anyway, but if you pay me the amount I paid him, I can have the contract cancelled and then you can go ahead with the hit on me.

    As I am rather wealthy I have lots of cash to dispose of through the insurance on my life once it is over, however I need help to distribute this and need the sum of $100,000 from yourself deposited into my bank account to release the insurance money. In return you would get $1,000,000 of my insurance money.

    Of course I will need to see the dead body and have your $100,000 first before I can release the insurance money.

    Thanks, and awaiting your payment.

  40. Paul

    I feel left out!

    I'm still getting the old scam e-mails but this one has an interesting bit in it. I'm apparently being sent boxes of money by diplomatic mail, via the below mentioned carrier, as soon as I give him my name, address, passport or drivers license and telephone numbers.

    "As soon as I hear from you I will let you know when the boxes will be airlifted by special Grace of God."

    Who needs DHL or Parcel Force when you can get things delivered by the Grace of God?!

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    419teacher says...

    Now then Tom, that "lol" post really was truly fantastic. A massive improvement on the subject matter and reminiscent of a true 419 scam. I see a great future for you behind bars mate. LM(f)AO.

  42. J-Wick
    Thumb Up

    What you say !!

    Anyone else reminded of this?

    "You are on the way to destruction.

    You have no chance to survive make your time.

    Ha Ha Ha Ha .... "

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Whilst you are waiting for the $9000 to 'spear' my life, I just 419'd your sorry ass with a rabid hamster and a length of clear plastic tube.

  44. RW

    No, no, please no, don't Britneyfy me, do anything you want, but not that, Br'er Fox!

    "I might just spear your life"

    Death by celebrification?

  45. Anonymous Coward

    3rd time's a charm

    First it was the RI ASS A.

    Then is was the MP ASS A.

    Now it's the ASS assin.

    ha ha ha ha ha.....amazing that all three are complete morons.

  46. James O'Brien

    Oh wow

    And here I was thinking I would have to go with the highest priced assassin to end my life. Now it looks like I can hold the silent auction for whoever can end it for the least cost. Mr. Killer I'm going to put you down at $9000 USD I will await the next bid and inform you if you have been out bid.

    Of course, you could just give me your address, passport, credit card numbers and next of kin, along with a $5000 deposit and I will happily send you a sum of $40million (rubles) when the bank releases the hold on my funds, to be the guaranteed contract (Mr.)killer of my life. Please no CoDs, checks or money orders, only cold hard currency will be accepted for the winning (Mr.)killer.

    Now I can rest happy tonight knowing I wont be taken for more then my life is worth.

  47. Jon Tocker

    Dear Mr Killer

    Thank you so much for warning me in advance of your intentions. The previous three assassins sent to kill me were not so considerate and took me quite by surprise. Consequently I had to improvise, which resulted in one choking to death due to a crushed trachea, another slowly and painfully bleeding to death - as the only weapon I could improvise was a broken bottle - and the third was beaten to death with a telephone book - hardly the most efficient or humane bludgeon, I confess, but it was the only thing I could grab at the time.

    I am not, by nature, a cruel man (despite what that soon-to-be-ex-friend of mine may have told you) and rest assured that the gristly and gruesome deaths suffered by the other would-be assassins are purely due to me not being properly equipped at the time, not to sadism or blood-thirstiness on my part.

    As you have kindly (and sensibly) warned me in advance, I will make sure I am properly equipped to kill you in a more humane fashion than what your predecessors (and I do use that word in its most literal sense) suffered.

    I look forward to our meeting.

    Have a nice day


    Jon Tocker

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    "Damn, maybe the email I had today from the lovely-sounding Russian girl who wanted a relationship with me isn't real either."

    It's worse than that - she's the one who hired out the hit. I guess you should have bought some of those PE-RX patches after all.

  49. Glen Turner

    Send in the marines

    What happens to Nigeria when a 419er sends one of these to US troops will be out of Iraq soon and looking to make trouble in some other oil-producing nation ;-)

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    This one's true fellas

    This one is not a scam. I should know: I didn't pay up and a few weeks later they killed me.

  51. Anonymous Coward

    Hi tech

    "and I might just spear your life"

    fairly primitive technology for a modern day international assasin. . .

  52. Eponymous Cowherd

    Dear Mr Killer

    Thank you for your kind and polite letter.

    My extensive network of contacts in MI5, the CIA and Mossad have discovered your location and identity.

    Unfortunately, all of my professional operatives are busy on other assignments at the moment, but my desire to expedite this transaction has forced me to use a resource that I normally reserve for making (rather messy) examples of people who offend me.

    The good news (for you) is that he won't kill you (some kind of religious conviction), and I believe you can lead a fairly reasonable life without a penis.

    If you wish I can ask him to remove your hands as well. That way you won't miss the loss of your genitals quite so much.

    Hoping you are well (at the moment)


  53. Steve Ives
    Paris Hilton

    To Tony

    Actually, I do know about your ill-tempered mutated sea bass, which is why I'll be bringing my tetchy deformed little skate, spiny dogfish, goosefish, spotted hake, windowpane, and summer flounder - all of which are natural predators of the sea bass.


  54. Anonymous Coward

    @ Dave Harris

    >>...forwarded it to their local FBI field office, who, as far as I'm aware, tend to take a rather dim view of extortion, assassination and the like....

    Only when done by others ... they are quite happy with most of the above if they are doing it!

    The alien, well just ask them about the FBI...

  55. The Boffin


    "... the gristly and gruesome deaths."

    How did you know they were gristly. Did you try frying then eating them with some fava beans and a nice chianti? In my experience international assasins tend to be very fit and, therefore a bit on the stringy side. I'd recommend a long slow casserole.

  56. The Boffin

    Emotional Distress.

    I can't wait to get one of these at work. It's got to be worth a couple of weeks of sick leave for the psychological trauma.

  57. Andus McCoatover

    Why don't we...

    ...simply use the reply e-mail to sign up to a porn site? They'll be inundated with plenty of replies. V14gra, anyone?

  58. Anonymous Coward


    you forgot the headers......

    i was gonna send it to my ex-!!!


    best laugh i have had in ages

    looks like tha lads in lagos have exceeded themselves,,, hehehe...

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    I assure you these e-mails are real

    I'm not sure why you lot seem to think these e-mails aren't real.

    I have paid Mr Jacks H. Killer to end YOUR life, yes YOURS.

    Let me point out a few key points, which obviously have you doubting the sincerity of Mr Killer's e-mail.

    Firstly, I'm a skin-flint, and refuse to pay Mr Killer what he demands, and therefore he will try to supplement his income. He does this anyway he pleases, but usually he gets a kick of making his target cough up in the (mistaken) belief they will be spared.

    Secondly, you think his poor use of English is inadvertent, when in actual fact, it is his (poor) attempt to disguise his real identity (the silly sod uses his real name to send the e-mails).

    Thirdly, when he says you will be "speared" for $9000 USD, that's exactly what you'll get. Once the $9000 has been received, he issues the kill command to the boys, and they then set about you with a spear. You see, he can't afford decent weapons on what I'm prepared to pay him, so he uses crude hand made spears. They're fairly blunt, but after a few good prods they start to have the desired effect, although it can be slow going. They also have the added bonus of being easily transported through customs.

    For those of you who have received the e-mail and are still up and running, don't kid yourself about it being a hoax, Mr Killer is very busy at the moment, and has a large backlog of work, he's recently had to attend the funerals of several departed uncles, princes, etc, and these have also caused him some cash flow problems. However, Mr Killer has assured me he will complete all his outstanding contracts.

    So you see my (ex-)FRIEND, the end is nigh.

  60. Jon Tocker
    Thumb Up

    @The Boffin

    Try as I might, I couldn't quite match the same level of appalling English as the originator of the threat. ;)

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