A Pittsburgh car dealer received an e-mail message that a $50,000 hit had been put out on him and that the order to “terminate” him would be cancelled if the man paid $80,000, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. FBI agent Bill Shore said the case appears to be “spear phishing,” where scammers target a specific group of people. People who have received the e-mails are professionals, including several dentists. He suspects whoever sent the e-mails had access to a database of dentists and targeted them.
Anyone who receives that kind of message will at least hesitate for a moment, Shore said. “You think,” he said, ” ‘What did I get into? What do I gotta do to get out of this?’ ” Iif you look closer, the broken English in the body of the e-mail is a pretty quick giveaway that it’s a scam. To report a questionable e-mail, or online scam, go to www.ic3.gov and click on “file a complaint.”