“I have been paid by a client to assasinate you”

Photo by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos
Photo by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

On May 4, 2007 I received the following ominous sounding email:


To: john@ellingsworth.org
Subject: hello
From: mckin free
Reply-To: mchufree@yahoo.com
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Hello,
I wish to let you know that i have been paid by a client to assasinate you
at convenience,and i have signed a contract of $650,000 yesterday for
this.I have never met you before,but they gave me the full description of your
identity and contact,together with your photograph which my boys have
used to trace you.

The reason why they want you Dead is not disclosed to me as i was not
allowed to know,but you are now not better that the dead ok.

My BOYS are now contantly watching you,they are following

you-home,office,everywhere…..,you go and they are waiting for my instruction to

terminate you.And they will strike at convenience.

THIS IS MY MESSAGE-

LISTEN VERY WELL !!!!,the Police cannot do much to help you out in this
right now because you are being watched,any such attempt is very risky
cause you will push us to terminate your life without option. Your calls
are not safe also.In fact you are traced.
I have no business with you but at least i have cleared the way as a
pro-,but you may have one chance to live again if you can contact me
not latter that 24 hours after this mssage.email fgconhome@yahoo.com

GOODLUCK!!!

Upon receipt of the email, I was truly startled. Sure, there might be a few folks out there that I might have unintentionally slighted, but nothing that meritted putting a hit on me. I checked Google for anything remotely like it, but no one had written anything about it.

Thinking this was pretty bizarre, I forwarded it to my wife. “Wow! I didn’t know I was worth so much . . . ” I told her.

Trust me, I am probably not worth much after all, except Ellingsworth.

Since I was informed I only had 24 hours to reply, I waited at least 48 hours before I responded. Note: lots of people tell you not to respond; my advice is to do whatever you want, as I am not a lawyer.

I sent my reply:


Date: Sun, 06 May 2007 15:12:36 -0400
From: John Ellingsworth
Reply-To: john@ellingsworth.org
To: mchufree@yahoo.com, fgconhome@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: hello
References: <200705042223.l44MN5nv018561@localhost.localdomain>
In-Reply-To: <200705042223.l44MN5nv018561@localhost.localdomain>

It didn’t take long for a followup:

Date: Sun, 6 May 2007 15:57:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: mckin hughes
Subject: Re: hello
To: john@ellingsworth.org
In-Reply-To: <463E28A4.1010008@ellingsworth.org>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Message-ID: <516301.20556.qm@web63813.mail.re1.yahoo.com>

Since I was having such a hard time believing that this guy wanted me to send him money, I decided to wait another 48 hours before I replied:

Hi.

I hope it is not too late to save myself.

Please advise as to the next step.

Regards,

John Ellingsworth

men in fact i demand a ransom of $240,000 [two hundred and fourthy thousand us dollars to
demobilise my boys first, then i tell you a safe ground to meet me so that we can talk.Do you think am kidding with you,the simple truth remains that i just wanted to give you a chance to live once more….but be warned do not misunderstand previllege ok.

YOU HAVE ANOTHER 24HRS TO RESPOND..

GOODLUCK


Date: Wed, 09 May 2007 09:15:25 -0400
From: John Ellingsworth
Reply-To: john@ellingsworth.org
To: mckin hughes
Subject: Re: hello
References: <516301.20556.qm@web63813.mail.re1.yahoo.com>
In-Reply-To: <516301.20556.qm@web63813.mail.re1.yahoo.com>

He replied later on that night, obviously getting a little annoyed. He did include some banking information to which I should transfer the money:

Sorry for the delay; I am hoping it is not too late. What do I need to do next?

Regards,

John Ellingsworth


Date: Wed, 9 May 2007 22:12:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: mckin hughes
Subject: Re: hello
To: john@ellingsworth.org
In-Reply-To: <4641C96D.9030509@ellingsworth.org>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/related; boundary="0-200580861-1178773958=:25121"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
Message-ID: <67893.25121.qm@web63801.mail.re1.yahoo.com>

JOHN-DISCUSSIN WITH MANY -CAN,T HELP YOU-NOW..WE ARE WATCHIN CLOSELY-YOU TALK MUCH–WE HAVE DECIDE THAT YOU TIME IS OFF-BUT BECAUSE OF YOUR MAIL TODAY,WE ARE GIVING YOU THE LAST CHANCE.

SO WHY DO YOU WRITE?-ARE WE NEGOTIATING NOW OR NOT.MAKE THE PAYMENT TO THIS ACCOUNT–YOU HAVE VERY LITTLE TIME TO DO THAT.OK.

FOR THE TRANSFER
HSBC BANK PLC
SORT CODE:40-06-29
ACCOUNT NUMBER:37397126
BENEFICIARY:GRECO INTERNATIONAL
IBAN:GB 67 MIDL 40051537397126

Wow! He sent ME his bank account information. This was getting good, since I was starting to think he wanted me to send him MY personal information.

Well, at this point I was hoping to find out at least what IP address he was emailing me from, so I included a PHP script as an attached screenshot that would track his IP address. (I was hoping his email client would automatically load it.)

Alas, after I sent this email I did not hear back from him:


Date: Sun, 13 May 2007 10:26:41 -0400
From: John Ellingsworth
Reply-To: john@ellingsworth.org
To: mckin hughes
Subject: Re: hello
References: <67893.25121.qm@web63801.mail.re1.yahoo.com>
In-Reply-To: <67893.25121.qm@web63801.mail.re1.yahoo.com>

Hi

I tried to transfer my information to you but had ongoing problems with the
bank. I think it is an issue with your account information, although I am not
sure what the reason for it was.

Maybe you could tell me how to fix it? I am including a screenshot to show you
the problem. I think I saw your guys snooping around my block last night.

Here is the screenshot:

Screenshot

Regards,

John Ellingsworth

I waited two days in the hope that he would respond, but I never heard anything back from him. I contacted the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center and filed a complaint with them:


From:
To:
Subject: IC3 Complaint: I0705151238495462
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 12:37:01 -0400

I was hoping for something along the lines of “Well, since you provided us with enough evidence to track this bastard down, we have already dispatched our BOYS and broke the little twig in half. Due to your valiant efforts, we have broken up an international crime ring; you should receive Presidential recognition of your efforts in the mail shortly.”

Thank you for filing a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Your complaint has been successfully submitted. Please retain the following information for future contacts with the IC3:

Complaint Id: I01231512312362
Password: 123456789

If you wish to view/download your complaint or have any additional information to provide to the IC3, please use the following link and login with the above complaint id and password.
http://complaint.ic3.gov/update

The IC3’s mission is to serve as a vehicle to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime. The IC3 aims to give the victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism.

Complaint Status
The IC3 receives thousands of complaints each month and does not have the resources to respond to inquiries regarding the status of complaints. It is the IC3’s intention to review all complaints and refer them to law enforcement and regulatory agencies having jurisdiction. Ultimately, investigation and prosecution are at the discretion of the receiving agencies.

Evidence
It is important that you maintain any evidence you may have relating to your complaint. Evidence may include canceled checks, credit card receipts, phone bills, mailing envelopes, mail receipts, a printed copy of a website, copies of emails, or similar items. Please keep the items in a safe location, in case you are requested to provide them for investigative purposes.

Additionally, to learn more about Internet schemes and ways to protect yourself, please visit www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com.

Alas, I did not. I recently checked my complaint but there haven’t been any updates to the complaint.

If anyone can find out more about the bank account information he sent me, I’d appreciate knowing about it.

mckin free/hughes, where are you?

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