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April 20, 2007

Purdue police believe extortion threat e-mails are bogus

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Purdue University police are investigating a series of threatening e-mails that were sent recently to at least two professors and a student demanding money.

Lt. Fred Davis said each of the e-mails states that the recipient's life is in danger unless the recipient pays large amounts of money ranging from $40,000 to $200,000. He said officers do not believe any of the threats are credible and that the e-mails appear to have originated overseas in locations such as Germany, the United Kingdom and Russia.

A similar scam also has been reported during the past few months in other states including Georgia and New York. Davis said the police department has enlisted the help of the university's computer forensics experts and notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"There does not appear to be evidence that anyone is in any kind of danger," Davis said. "None of the e-mails include any personal information that would lead us to believe the recipients are being specifically targeted. Still, people need to remember never to send any kind of personal information, such as their address or bank account numbers, in response to unsolicited e-mails."

Davis asks anyone who receives similar e-mails or has other information to contact the Purdue Police Department at (765) 494-8221 or go online to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov

Writer: Christy Jones, (765) 494-1089, christyjones@purdue.edu

Source: Lt. Fred Davis, (765) 494-8221

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

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