fighting spam and scams on the Internet
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
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Fraud email example:
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 04:34:15 +0200
Subject: LETTER OF INTRODUCTION.
I am Dr. Joseph Mpala, Director of Projects, South Africa Department
of Minerals & Energy.I am making this contact with you based on the
committee's need for an individual/company who is willing to assist us with
a solution to a funds transfer.In unfolding this proposal, I want to count on you, as a respected and honest person to handle this transaction with sincerity, trust and confidentiality.I have decided to seek a confidential co-operation with you in the execution of the deal described hereunder for the benefit of all parties and hope you will keep it as a top secret because of the nature of this transaction.
Within the Department of Minerals & Energy where I work as a Director of
Project and with the co-operation of two other top officials, we have in our
possession as overdue payment bills totalling Fourteen Million, Five Hundred
Thousand U. S Dollars (US$14,500,000.00) which we want to transfer abroad with the assistance and co-operation of a foreign company/individual to receive the said funds on our behalf or a reliable foreign non-company account to receive such funds. More so, we are handicapped in this circumstance, as the South Africa Civil Service Code of Conduct does not allow us to operate offshore account hence your importance in the whole transaction.
This amount (US$14.5m) represents the balance of the total contract value executed on behalf of my Department by a foreign contracting firm, which we the officials over-invoiced deliberately. Though the actual contract cost been paid to the original contractor, leaving the balance in the tune of the said amount which we have in principles got approval to remit by Telegraphic Transfer (T.T) to any foreign bank account you will provide by filing in an application through the Justice Department here in South Africa for the transfer of rights and privileges of the former contractor to you.
I have the authority of my partners involved to discuss on the modalities of sharing with you.Your share of the entire sum will be (26.5%) US$3,842,500 (Three Million Eight Hundred and Forty-Two Thousand, Five Hundred United States Dollars, US$8,555,000 (Eight Million Five Hundred and Fifty-Five Thousand United States Dollars (59%)for us and (14.5%) US$2,102,500
(Two Million One Hundred and Two Thousand, Five Hundred United States
Dollars) for taxation and miscellaneous expenses.The business itself has a minimal risk factor; on your part provided you treat it with utmost secrecy and confidentiality. Also, your area of specialization is not a hindrance to the successful execution of this transaction. I have reposed my confidence in you and hope that you will not disappoint me.
I wait in anticipation of your fullest co-operation. I will implore you to reply to this letter on the address below, to entertain any questions concerning the clarity of this transaction.