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Stay Away From These Two Scams

By Erik Folgate


This is one of the most ridiculous scams I’ve heard about in a long time. Apparently, it started popping up in late 2006 and early 2007, but this is the first time I have heard about it. Which means, it hasn’t been too effective. However, I think it’s still worth bringing to your attention, because it could land in the right person’s inbox and severely scare them into doing something stupid.

It’s called the “Hitman Bribe” email scam. For two examples of the email you might receive, click here.

Basically, you get an email from a supposed hitman, who is contacting you to make you aware that someone (sometimes specifically a co-worker) has hired him to kill you for a certain amount of money. He tells you that he will not go through with it if you pay him a certain amount of money. Then, he proceeds to tell you that if you go to the cops he will proceed with carrying out the plot to kill you. Many of us would laugh and click “delete” faster than a politician can tell a lie, but there are some out there who may actually have enemies out there. This is what the scammer is hoping for. The scammer is hoping that he’ll catch a handful of people who really start to worry about the notion that a hated co-worker or ex-spouse has it out to kill them. Well, if you do get an email like this, it’s a scam. Thousands of people have received the email, so disregard it. Plus, a hitman would send you an email as contact. They are smart enough to know that leaving a paper trial is not the smartest thing to do.


There are four different ways that someone might try to scam you out of your stimulus refund check. By phone, by email, door-to-door, or by snail mail.

Here are some tips for avoiding being scammed out of your stimulus refund check.

  1. Never respond to any emails regarding your economic stimulus payment. The IRS is not going to contact you through email. They’ll also never ask you for your social security number or bank account information.
  2. With the option of having your check direct deposited, I can foresee many scammers trying to get your bank account information by acting like the IRS trying to set up bank account information. AVOID THESE SCAMS! The IRS will never call, email, or send a letter asking for your bank account information.
  3. Never accept any offers from people saying they will add an extra percentage onto your refund check unless it is a large retailer such as Sears, Kroger, or other respected retailer. Plus, no one will go door-to-door from a large retailer to offer this deal to you.
  4. Never hand over your refund check to anyone, period. Especially those going door-to-door.
  5. Always keep in mind that the IRS does not have enough time to contact 100 million people for “verification” of your personal information. Believe me, they already have your personal information, they don’t need to verify it.
  6. Don’t believe anyone approaching you that says they can turn your refund check into more money. Unless they’re magicians or wizards, it’s a scam.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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