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'Pay Or Die': Hitman Email Scam Shocking The Most Seasoned Police Investigators

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- An email that's surfaced on Philadelphia's Main Line would cause you to believe you have a hitman on your tail.

"It's very disturbing when you read, it has your name, and it says it has orders to kill you," said Chief Bill Colarulo, with the Radnor Township Police Department.

In the email, which police have deemed a scam, .40 of Bitcoin currency is demanded.

Pay up, and the writer will supposedly tell you who took out the contract on your life.

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Detectives say it's the next generation in a long-running beat of extortion scams.

And as far-fetched as it seems, police reason should anybody be willing to take a chance?

"Especially when you see the disturbing nature of this email, Joe, which I know you've read, where he puts in parentheses I have nine confirmed executions and I know I'm breaking the rules but I'm trying to give you a chance," Colarulo said.

Colarulo sat down with CBS3 ahead of a news conference announcing the scam email that he believes will land in hundreds of thousands of inboxes.

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"If only a few people actually respond and do something, they make a lot of money," Dr. Lillian Cassel, chair of Villanova University's Computer Sciences Department said.

She says this is merely the next installment in cyber scams.

"It's just they've taken it to a different level in actually threatening a person's life. I've not seen that before," Cassel said.

Experts warn residents to never respond to this type of email and encourage you to call police.

The FBI and Radnor Police are actively investigating. They're not exactly confident they'll make an arrest, but they would prefer just making people aware the scam email is making the rounds.


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