A TOWN councillor has been targeted by an international e-mail scam after receiving a threat from an ‘assassin’ allegedly paid $10,000 to kill him.
The sender who signed the message ‘Charles Rasmussen from London, UK’ – spelled the same as US stage actor Charles Rasmussen from Chicago – claimed he had followed the Malvern resident for one week and three days and ordered to terminate him by someone ‘you call a friend’.
The scammer also said he had been given reasons by his ’employers’ but added he has seen the accusations were untrue and added this is the first time he had ‘turned out to be the betrayer’.
Rasmussen warned the councillor not to contact the police or FBI or he will carry out his orders as well as target his family.
He promised to hand over a tape of the man requesting the assassination but advised the victim not to ‘come out’ after 10pm until the handover.
The e-mail seen by the Observer contains numerous grammatical and punctuation errors but tries to appear authentic by providing the victim’s full address, home and telephone number as well as pointing out ‘You are the Councillor at Malvern Town’.
Despite the warning the resident forwarded the message straight to Malvern police officers who assured him others had been targeted by the ‘phishing scam’ which is designed to scare vulnerable people into parting with money.
However forces said because the identity of the sender is always well shielded and they were likely to be from outside of the UK there was little police could do.
It is suspected victims’ personal details are gained from data hacked from the internet, possibly from film streaming services.
The councillor wished not to be named in case others chose to target him but said the sender made a mistake in choosing him because he was a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator who worked closely with police.
He stressed the scam was a good reason for residents to become watch members and urged people to contact Malvern Police to be registered for local email alerts.
“A predator will be attached to a victim with one eye, but wary of one with hundreds.” he added.
The Observer reached out to the real Charles Rasmussen to inform him of the scam but has not received a response.