Email Hoax Information

Thank you for accessing this Scottsdale Police Department webpage.  You should know that the Scottsdale Police Department is committed to investigating and prosecuting internet and email criminals when possible.  Unfortunately, adequate laws do not exist to prosecute criminals in other countries and many email hoaxes and internet based phishing scams originate in these places.


Internet crime and suspicious emails come in many varieties and the specifics are always changing.  However what does not change is the tactic or the type of email.  We have listed several types in an effort to educate the public about these scams.  In almost all cases, the suspects involved have very little or no personal information about you other than your email address.  In these cases, there is little risk to you with respect to financial loss and/or personal risk such as injury.


 “Hitman” email or similar email death threat type scams

In this scam, citizens are receiving emails from an unknown source that say essentially:

"Good day,

I want you to read this message very carefully, and keep the secret with you till further notice, You have no need of knowing who i am, where am from, till i make out a space for us to see, i have being paid $50,000.00 in advance to terminate you with some reasons listed to me by my employers, its one i believe you call a friend, i have followed you closely for one week and three days now and have seen that you are innocent of the accusation, Do not contact the police or F.B.I. or try to send a copy of this to them, because if you do i will know, and might be pushed to do what i have being paid to do, beside, this is the first time I turned out to be a betrayer in my job.
Now, listen, i will arrange for us to see face to face but before that i need the amount of $80,000.00 and you will have nothing to be afraid of. I will be coming to see you in your office or home determine where you wish we meet, do not set any camera to cover us or set up any tape to record our conversation, my employer is in my control now, You will need to pay $20,000.00 to the account i will provide for you, before we will set our first meeting, after you have make the first advance payment to the account, i will give you the tape that contains his request for me to terminate you, which will be enough evidence for you to take him to court (if you wish to), then the balance will be paid later.

You don't need my phone contact for now till am assured you are ready to comply good.

Lucky You."

The key elements to this email include the fact that no personal information is given to corroborate what the sender has given.  Most people upon receipt of this email will simply delete it as a hoax.  There is no risk related to this random act.  However, if you have received a specific threat that includes personal information (other than your email address), there may be cause for concern.  In the case of an imminent or immediate threat to your life, call 9-1-1. If there is no immediate threat, but personal information is present that leads you to believe there is a specific threat, we recommend that you call the Police Department at 480-312-5000 and discuss the matter with a police officer.

However, in most cases these emails are simply a hoax and are not a cause for concern.  The Scottsdale Police Department does track these situations and you can provide us with specific information about your situation by clicking here.

Lottery Scams

Consumers across America are receiving phony notices by e-mail, phone, or regular mail telling them that they have won a sweepstakes contest. The elderly are commonly targeted in these scams.  Many of these claim to be foreign lotteries from Canada, Spain or other countries.  When the victim calls to claim their winnings they will be told that they need to pay money up front to satisfy taxes in that country.  Some keys to determining that these are scams:

  • Legitimate sweepstakes contests do not require the winner to pay money in order to collect a prize
  • Foreign lotteries are illegal and cannot conduct business in this country
  • A person cannot win a sweepstakes without first entering the drawing in some way

If you feel you have been solicited in a lottery scam, you can ignore the solicitation or you can report the matter to the Scottsdale Police Department.  In order to report the situation, click here.

If you have received a suspicious email and wish to report the incident to the Police Department, please click here.

If you wish to learn more about these scams, other resources are:

Police Motto