E-mail threat strikes UI

By Angelina Cole

A new type of Internet scam has caused recent discussion on campus after an individual received an e-mail threatening his life if a specified amount of money was not paid to the offender last month.

“We first saw the hit-man e-mail threat at the beginning of the summer, sometime around June,” Sgt. Tony Brown of the University Police Department said. “Three cases were reported and once our investigators looked into it, they proved to be nothing more than an Internet hoax.”

Brown said these threatening e-mails are “spam just like any other spam” but in a different format. Brown said that cases like these really don’t need to be reported.

According to the Web site of Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services, users are instructed to contact local police in the event of threats pertaining to illegal activities and personal harm. For less severe types of computer scams, CITES suggests contacting its Security Services department.

However, due to the severity of the threat, there are some disagreements as to how much weight individuals should give these threats.

“I would report something like this because it’s so serious,” said Carolyn Tsai, senior in Business. “I probably wouldn’t if it were something more minor.”

No suspects have been identified and no arrests have been made.