Threatening E-Mails Sent To Payson Residents

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Payson Internet users are receiving e-mails threatening to kill them.

E-mails telling Arizonans that they have been made the target of a contract to kill them have been circulating throughout the state. Payson is not exempt from these kinds of harassment and threats.

It used to be that often these kinds of things were confined to localized areas.

Now, with the World Wide Web, virtually anyone can be reached at pretty much any time, day or night.

The Arizona Attorney General's office released a notice informing residents in Arizona to be aware of the scam.

The sender of the e-mail, who at this time is unknown, claims to be a contracted hit-man who is being paid to kill the recipient of the e-mail. The sender goes on to say that he will cancel the contract to kill the recipient after a demand for thousands of dollars has been paid.

The victim is then warned not to contact law enforcement or to leave their house after 7:30 p.m.

Victims are also told to "get back to me immediately" or the hit may not be able to be canceled in time.

In the release, Terry Goddard, Arizona attorney general said, "The threat of violence is a new tactic."

"We have not seen one before that threatens physical harm, but the goal of the scammer to get money is familiar. It is important that Arizona residents understand this is fraudulent and not fall victim to it."

The attorney general's office advises anyone who receives an e-mail of such a nature to report it immediately to the attorney general's office.

Andrea Esquer, spokesperson for Goddard's office said, "Any e-mail like this is a scam and should be taken with a grain of salt."

Esquer said that while the attorney general does not feel there is any danger of the threat actually being carried out, Goddard's office takes any threat seriously and if a person receives one, they should report it to local law enforcement and the attorney general as soon as possible.

"In reality, this person is probably offshore or in some remote place which makes it extremely hard to catch them," she added.

For more information on scams circulating on the Internet and in e-mails, go to: http://www.azag.gov/scams.html, or call the attorney general's office at, 602-542-5763 in Phoenix, or the Tucson number at, 520-628-6504 or toll free at 800-352-8431.

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