Honey, the assassins called again

November 29, 2011

We try to lead good lives. We help old ladies cross the street. We donate to charity and always call our mother on her birthday.

So, doesn’t it just seem so terribly unfair when an assassin is hired to kill you, all for a measly $80,000?

The Ontario Provincial Police in Wellington County recently alerted citizens to a scam letter circulating around local e-mail inboxes. The letter begins, “Hello, how are you doing today? I was paid to assassinate you, but I felt it will be right for me to inform…”

The e-mail goes on to say that for a small sum of $10,000, this killer with a heart of gold won’t carry out their orders. It reads like it was written by a 12-year-old who’s read one too many Hardy Boys adventures. All that’s missing is a really cool plan to meet in a cave somewhere just at the stroke of midnight.

And yet, remarkably, some of us are scared enough to call the cops.

“As you can see there is no need of introducing myself to you because I don’t have any business with you, 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,” reads a gem of a line in one of versions of the letter.

I especially like the emphasis on the word “kill.” If you need the police to protect from criminals this dumb, you should probably just lock your door and never leave your house.

The next time you get an e-mail from a professional killer, perhaps you should stop and think — what could you have possibly done to cause some unseen enemy to pay a hitman $80,000 to do you in?

Could it have been that time you didn’t return your shopping cart to the cart pen in the grocery store parking lot? Maybe someone wants you dead because you ordered the last maple glaze doughnut at Tim Hortons. Perhaps your flagrant abuse of coupons at Boston Pizza has caught the attention of the international restaurant owners cartel, and the only solution is for you to be silenced — permanently.

It could be any of those things. Or, less likely, it’s that … it’s a scam. I know, it’s crazy. But consider this:

1) If someone were really planning to kill you, they probably wouldn’t begin with some polite small talk by e-mail. They’d probably just, you know, kill you.

2) If this assassin was really in the business of killing people for money, he’d probably prefer an $80,000 paycheque over a $10,000 one. Whether you’re dead or alive probably doesn’t make much of a difference to him. Just sayin’.

3) Anyone who writes, “I have all your informations with me now, as am talking to you,” is probably a Grade 3 drop out and unable to find your house on a map. So you’re probably pretty safe.

4) A real professional killer probably wouldn’t contact you by e-mail. Just a guess.

I know, I know. The world is a scary place, full of scary people. And we should all be very afraid at all times. Danger lurks around every corner.

Just this week, an unusual e-mail landed in my own inbox, but it wasn’t from a scammer. It was from my employer, wanting to know if I would wear a fluorescent safety vest when out on assignment. You know, to keep me safe.

Only thing is, I work as a reporter for a daily newspaper in Kitchener, where the only real danger comes from paper cuts or ink stains. It’s kind of like asking a librarian if they want a hard hat or an accountant who needs to wear a flak jacket.

Yep. This is the world we live in now. So whatever you do, for God’s sake, stay safe. And watch out for those assassins.

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