E-mail scam threatens death

Not even a Nigerian prince would send an e-mail like this.

The Sheriffs Office in the Florida Keys says it's received two reports of a "frightening" e-mail sent to island residents -- pay me or I will kill you. The agency says no one is likely to kill you.

Spokeswoman Becky Herrin says: "The e-mail purports to be from a professional hit man hired by a friend to kill the person receiving the communication. The scammer cautions against contacting the police and wants a return e-mail: 'Contact my email if you want to live.' "

The e-mail warns "your life is going to end as soon as you don't comply" and that "I have sent my men to track you down in location and have carried out the necessary investigation needed for the operation on you." It says that the victim is being watched and ends with "Warning: do not think of contacting the police or even telling anyone, or else I will extend it to your family, in case I notice something funny. Good luck as I await your reply."

The next step in the scam is most likely to extort money from the people who reply to it. So don't reply to it.