back to article Yemeni assassin hits York man with spam death threat

A software engineer form York has been left nonplussed after a group of hired guns from the Yemen Arab Republic claimed to have been contracted to "terminate" him with extreme prejudice. Charles Anderson told El Reg he received an email last week from a "Gladlord Mohammed" informing him that "i have being paid $200,000.00 in …


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  1. Ian Ferguson

    Great scam

    The benefit, of course, of this scam is that when they hit the right mark, they'll gain the full $50k, not some minor 'advance' fee.

    The drawback is that the email is practically a death threat, but that's not likely to deter mass-mailers.

  2. Rob

    Only his self to blame...

    ... I mean come on... a restaurant in Bangor, I take it that was your first visit?

    Back on topic, these guys aren't very professional 'cleaners' they are willing to forgo 200k in exchange for 50k, I know which I'd prefer including keeping professional reputation as well.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge

    Sounds like the Yemeni version of...

    .. the Piranha brothers.

    "Oh yes Kipling Road was a typical East End Street, people were in and out of each other's houses with each other's property all day. They were a cheery lot. "

  4. Anonymous Coward


    Now police finally has reason to go anal on the spammers. A clear death threat, what do they need more ? "Gimme money or I must kill you".

    In Germany that's called an Offizialdelikt, which means a State Attorney *must* start to investigate the threat. I am sure something similar applies to most other countries.

    Maybe I should check my spam-inbox....

    1. Anonymous John

      Re Nice

      Investigate how? The trail will only end up in an Internet cafe in a country with an inefficient and/or corrupt police force.

      Hitlads are the bottom feeders of the scamming pool. They can frighten people, but I've not heard of anyone paying up. They are much prized by baiters. (possibly NSFW)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Black Helicopters

        BundesTrojaner ?

        The German Ministry of the Interior (Home Ministry) apparently developed a kind of "official malware" to got after miscreants:

        Investigating a death threat would in my opinion be one of the few good reasons to use this technology.

        Just reply with a malware-loaded html/gif/jpeg/avi/mpeg mail that will infiltrate the miscreants hopefully badly protected systems (do Spammers run as Administrator ?), use the (hopefully available) camera to shoot photos, gather intel, and then send a warrant to Interpol.

        Third-world countries are often tolerant regarding financial scams, but death threats are normally a no-no even in Nigeria and Yemen.

        Picture of Federal Malware.

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      In England

      In England, typically the police will only investigate AFTER the ex-boyfriend walks into a high-street shop and kills his ex-girlfriend, despite the police being told BEFOREHAND about the high chance of it happening.

      ...and from the sounds of this email, the chance of the "death threat" being carried out is low.

      On the other hand though, when a 7 year old sounding boy telephones in a bomb alert at his local school, everyone takes it seriously! (What's wrong with just saying you want the day off because you have a sore throat?)

  5. boombelly

    Noel Edmonds...?

    "Deal/ No Deal?" Could it be that your correspondent has annoyed Noel Edmonds recently?

    This would certainly be an interesting way of spicing up an otherwise tedious gameshow.

  6. Andy Enderby 1

    old scam

    Very old. These have been circulating for at least three years to my uncertain knowlege. Much fun can be had by winding them up from an email service that gives zero chance of geo location under false names. They are never the sharpest tool in the box and rely on vulnerable marks.

  7. Graham Bartlett

    Cop-shop time

    Maybe the police aren't too interested in internet scams.

    But threatening to kill someone unless you're paid off, that's demanding money with menaces. Charley boy should be heading to the polis PDQ and getting this reported. If Gladlord is in the UK, he's in a world of hurt. And a lot of other countries around the world would not be very happy about this. Even Nigeria are having a bit of a go at stopping 419ers, bless them.

    That said, if Gladlord is genuinely in Yemen, you're probably SOL in getting anyone to do anything about it.

  8. Yorkshirepudding

    so we'll know by wednseday then?

    at the least if he's had a cap popped in his ass so to speak

  9. JaitcH

    Could it be the Nigerians have competition?

    Moat of the junk in my spam catcher boxes are from Nigerians, with a few from other sources.

    Given the strange name "Gladlord" perhaps some Migerians have changed their citizenship?

  10. Danny 14 Silver badge


    I'd best stop nicking the staplers and coffee creamers just in case.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Oh noes, Internet assassins!

    I shall brief my Internet lawyers forthwith...

  12. Mako

    Ths has been around since at least 2006.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Yemen, my ar*e...

      The "assassin" is most likely a 12 year old boy in an internet cafe in Lagos.

  13. Z80

    Easy solution

    I'd just write back offering to spare him for $50K. Call it quits Yes/No?

  14. Alpha Tony

    "So you don't need to ask any question. Deal/ No Deal?"

    Police are looking for a man with a close cropped beard and his accomplice, a 7' tall somewhat overweight miscreant with a bad case of spots and a large bow tie.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like a 419

    Not one of the most common 419 gambits, but sounds like one I've been seeing from time to time for many years.

    David Harley, ESET Sr. Research Fellow

  16. My Alter Ego

    This happened to my neighbours

    I had to explain to them that they weren't going to receive £450,000 and that the email received was a spam. As they had already been in phone contact with the scammers they then decided to tell them that they knew it was a scam and that they'd informed the police. A couple of days later they showed me an email they received from the "assasin" similar to this, except they were only asking for a grand (bargainous!).

    Worst part was that they informed the council who then had to do a risk assessment on the "threat", as they might have to have been moved <sigh>.

  17. DrXym Silver badge

    A common kind of spam

    Its not as prevalent as Nigerian scams, but "hitman" scams have been around for a while now. Snopes has a report on it from 2006

  18. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Never again!

    "Was our man really saying there was no one he could think of who'd want him rubbed out, waxed or otherwise taken care of?"

    After a 50k wax, you would expect the hair to never grow back!

  19. Fred 21

    Just reply back with

    The simple -

    "Sure, I'll give you a cheque for 100k you take your 50k and then transfer the remainder into this bank account " ....

  20. Chris King Silver badge

    This is nothing new...

    El Reg reported on this about three years ago:

    One of my users received a similar threat from Kenya, and demanded that I call in the police. I pointed out that article and told him that he had more chance of being run over by stampeding giraffes than of being rubbed out by some mysterious assassin.

    (Unless the stampeding giraffes were a Kenyan hit squad in disguise)

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Sub-text: Better dismantle your anti-spam... case a kind assassin really doesn't want to bump you, but you never hear about it because their kind offer got binned. Still, you'll only get it wrong once.

  22. Peter Simpson 1

    Join the fun

    419eater is having fun with one of these lads right now:

    1. Anonymous John

      Redundant title.

      It's the same lad.

  23. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

    He should just send an e-mail back....

    Telling the 'hit man' that its not the money, but that its the principal that he doesn't negotiate with terrorists. If the 'hit man' has had a change of heart, he should just keep his initial $200K retainer and move on.

    If not, well then... the internet works both ways and that he shouldn't mind the fact that its far cheaper to bribe a local police official to kill the 'would be "hitman"' for a mere $20K.

    But I am confused about one thing... York is in the UK. The FBI and currency are in the US.


    1. Seb123

      What's there to be confused about?

      That's because the spammer sent this "threat" to a couple of thousand people. The fact the particular recipient that actually passed it onto this site is in the UK and not the US (as the spammer had hoped) is a mere coincidence. It's like when you receive mail from "Bank A" about "your account details need confirming" even though you don't even bank with BANK A.

  24. Kubla Cant Silver badge


    Was that the most menacing name he could think of?

    At the risk of offending, I presume Gladlord is rather like Gaylord, but a bit less gay?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beware the killer hedgehog

    Dimsdale? Dimsdale!

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge


      IIRC, the hedgehog was called Spiny Norman.

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