Spam, trolling or horsing around? An email from a supposed hitman threatening to arrange a strange sex-related death unless he is contacted is a bizarrely trolling twist on usual spam mail.
Spammers are always on the lookout for new ways to get victims to respond to them and be lured into various more or less elaborate scams, most ultimately aimed at extracting money from them. But while we have by now grown accustomed to being notified we won the lottery, or an African dictator’s assistant wanting to transfer millions to us, or even that a “friend” got mugged abroad and needs our help, we have not yet come across a death threat involving a horse, lard and a dildo.
Here’s the full text of the spam we have received, titled YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER:
As I sit here sipping a martini it is my regretful duty to inform you that you have been selected for assassination.
I am a professional assassin (I enclose my certificate of assassination as proof) and SMERSH have contracted me to assassinate you and have specifically paid extra for a particularly nasty death which makes it look like you died in a particularly bizarre sex game gone wrong; I had already bought the shire horse stallion (he’s called Henry – picture attached), the lard and the dragon dildo (from Bad Dragon of course, I only use the very best tools) when I found out that you are innocent of the accuse, so I make out this time to contact you. Unfortunately international crime syndicates won’t admit to mistakes and cancel the hit so I will be forced to carry out the assassination on you. Sorry about that old chap but rules are rules.
There is an option for me to help you in other for you to know who had paid SMERSH for your DEATH and don’t forget my men had been monitoring you for the past few days and daily record of your activities is been sent to me but I have refuse to order your DEATH.
Get back to me if you value your LIFE with all due speed or else I regret I will have to carry out my original contract to assassinate you and although he is quite charming for a horse I don’t think Henry is the most sensitive of lovers.
While it got a good laugh out of us here at ESET Ireland for its hilarious style and imagination, and kept us guessing whether his martini was shaken or stirred, a spam is still a spam and the consequent resulting scams can still cause much frustration from the unfortunate victims.
It is worth remembering, whenever encountering such spams, that they are sent out at random, so the spammers don’t know who will get them. But if they get a response from anyone, then they do know this person exists, offers feedback and is a potential victim of a targeted attack they can prepare just for them. Best thing to do in such cases is just to delete all such emails and not reply to them at all. And if you ever feel genuinely threatened by an email you receive, report it to the Gardaí.
IT Security & Cybercrime Analyst