“I was hired” or “I’m in prison” Fraud
In recent years there has been an increase of “Solicitation” fraud. The 2 most common types involve either an e-mail or an on-line text message.
The “I was hired to kill you but I won’t if you pay me” scam is usually sent out as an e-mail. The suspect states that someone has paid a large amount of money to have the e-mail receiver (victim) killed. The suspect (killer) proclaims that he/she will ignore the Solicitation for Murder request as long as the receiver gives a large amount of money to compensate the suspect for refusing to do the job.
The best way to handle this scam is to completely ignore it. A person hired to commit a murder would not send an e-mail to a “target victim” as there would be too great a risk for law enforcement to trace the e-mail back to a location and possibly a name. If you feel your life is truly in danger the best course of action would be to contact your local law enforcement authorities.
The “I’m your grandson/granddaughter and I’m in a jail/prison in foreign country and need money for bail” scam is usually done by instant messaging or a hijacked social media website (Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo). The suspect claims to be a distant relative and states that he/she has been arrested and imprisoned while on vacation in a foreign country. The suspect will also state that if you can send money quickly then he/she can bond out and be released.
If you have any reason to believe a relative has been imprisoned in a foreign country then the best way to assist that person would be to contact other relatives and verify that the relative is indeed imprisoned in a foreign country (if possible get the relative’s itinerary) and then contact a United States consulate for the foreign country where the relative was arrested.