'Do you want to live or die?'; old cyberscam takes new form

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Sep 19 2013 02:24:00 PM HST

The online version of "Your Money or Your Life." It's a cyberscam that's gone up a notch in Hawaii.

HONOLULU -

The online version of "Your Money or Your Life." It's a cyberscam that's gone up a notch.

"Good day, I am very sorry for you. It is a pity that this is how your life is going to end as soon as you don't comply," read recipient, Harold Burger, from a threatening email message he received.  

The email also says, "My duty as I am mailing you now is just to kill you, and I have to do it, as I have already been paid for that ... Get back to me now if you are ready to pay some fees to spare your life, $20,000 is all you need to spend," read Burger.

Twenty thousand to spare your own life some people may just fork that over. However, Burger said he's been around the block. The grammatical mistakes in the email made everything click in his head, he said he knew it was a cyber scam.

"I don't think I've ever offended anyone expect for my brother enough who would want to kill me," said Burger.

The email said, "Warning, do not think of contacting the police, FBI or even tell anyone because I will know as I have my eyes on you everywhere you go."

Burger didn't listen to that. He printed the email out and alerted the police.

Cyber scam experts said this type of threat is new, and threatening someone physically pushes them to act quickly without thinking.

"Usually the bad thing that's going to happen is your computer has been compromised or locked, or your personal information is going to be released. This one is a direct threat to your physical safety, of you or your family, so it's much more personal, so it kicks it up a notch higher," said cyberscam expert Chris Duque.

"Something like this can be really frightening, especially if you've got a relative who you are on the outs with or if you have some financial resources and someone wants those resources," said Burger.

Cyber experts said it takes a while to track down where the email came from if it's even possible. They advise anyone who gets a similar email to not delete it and to call police right away.

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