Have You Been Threatened By A Scammer?
What to do when you are receiving harmful threats from scammers by phone or email
Types Of Threats:
- Assassination Threat - They Are Going To Kill You!
- You Broke The Law Threat - You Are Involved - Complicity
- Extortion Threats
Threats from scammers have become commonplace online and in email.
Their threats can range from a warning that if you do not send them money they will report you to the FBI and/or Secret Service, to threats on your life or the lives of your children.
The threats can be terrifying in their intensity and must be successful or the scammers wouldn't keep doing it to extort money from their victims.
Don't worry, no one has been hired to kill you regardless of what the scammer says. This common email is a simple attempt at extortion and it works. Extortion emails are on the increase from African Scammers everywhere from Ghana to Malaysia. The emails are written by scammers mostly using a pre-defined script which they send out to thousands of people around the world. The FBI has this to say: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2007/january/threatscam_111507
If you have received an assassination email, ignore it - nothing is going to happen. It is just a desperate scammer trying to steal your money!
This is a case where they threaten to turn you in for your participation in laundering money, or their scam. They threaten to report you to a government law enforcement authority, Don't worry, while you may have done something stupid, you did not benefit from it.
Just remember, the scammers only wins if you believe them, not if they actually do it. No law enforcement agency is going to listen to a scammer anyway. A criminal complaint cannot be opened without there being evidence of a crime, and the only evidence the scammer can supply is that of his own criminal activities. Don't worry about it.
Scammers do make threats to send very personal information, photos, and videos to your social media friends, family, employers, and others. This is a threat that you should take seriously, because they can do it without risk to themselves.
The obvious answer is never share compromising things with a scammer, jet people are dumb and do it.
But there is a way to limit damage:
- Remove them as a friend or contact from all of your social media immediately
- Tell your friends and family that you received threats from some African Scammer - everybody understands who these people are, and it will disarm anything the scammer does.
- Depending on what the scammer has, if it is really bad, you can send them a very small amount - saying you have no more to send.
Almost all threats that you will receive from a scammer are meaningless, because the fact is they are incompetent and don't have enough time to really go after you. They are also half a world away.
In every case, when you receive a threat, be sure you report it to your local police - it is a crime, and they need to have it on file regardless. Without reporting such threats, your authorities have no way to assess the magnitude of them.
- If the threats come by email, make them as spam.
- If the threats come by SKYPE or WHATSUP - block them.
- If on your phone, there are two things to do.
- Most phone companies offer a Call Block Service - you can use this to block callers
- If you can't block, suggest the scammer call back at a specific time, and arrange for a male friend to be there. Once you answer and have the scammer on the line, have the male friend take over the call:
"Hello, who am I speaking to? This is officer Robert Maxwell from the online crimes division. I understand that you are threatening[your name]? Please stay on the line while I trace this call" Have fun with the scammer at this point - just do not say that you are from any specific law enforcement agency since that is a crime.
Look, scammers know how to get under your skin and scare you, just as they knew how to convince you they were sincere up front. Not all are very smart, but they are organized and sometimes very persistent.
Actually, your greatest risk is that they will use your identity as a TROLL - to scam other people under your name and using your photos - so be watchful.
If you call the FBI, they will may refer you to your local law enforcement but call them anyway.
You can record the phone calls and make a copy of the tape, or print out the emails and take the tape or printed emails down to your local law enforcement office to get the threats on record.
To do this, tell them you want to file a "General Report" or "Informational Report" unless they suggest a different type of report. Don't expect your local police to do anything, they just don't have the resources for it.
Local law enforcement knows that the likelihood of Nigerian threats being carried out is very, very slim (see below), whereas being needed elsewhere is a certainty.
If the threats escalate in any way, such as letters or FedEx packages, go to your police immediately. Otherwise relax, you are just part of a Novela or Soap Opera!
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