Melrose police warn residents of scam involving death threat

MELROSE, MASS. (WHDH) - Police in Melrose are warning residents of a scam in which an individual sends an email threatening the recipient’s life.

The popular extortion scam involves an email being sent to a victim from a supposed hitman who threatens to kill the recipient if the person does not make a payment in the form of bitcoin, according to police.

The email apparently includes a link to payment details and suggests that the scammer will reveal the name of the person who ordered the hit once payment is received.

“Never respond to these types of emails. We understand that when someone threatens your life it is frightening, but these are false claims made by a trained scammer,” Chief Michael Lyle said. “We cannot stress enough that if you send money through bitcoin or a wire transfer, in almost all cases, it is lost and gone forever.”

Police reminded residents that no legitimate organization or person would ever request payment in such forms.

Police offered the following tips for protection:

• Never send money to an unknown address, link or person.
• Contact police if you receive a threatening email or phone call requesting payment.
• Beware of any unsolicited phone calls or emails from unfamiliar numbers or addresses.

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