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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: Wed, 25 May 2005 01:52:13 +0200
Subject: KEEP PRIVATE.
FROM:DESK OF DR.ROLAND THEMBA,
THE DIRECTOR OF PROJECTS,
MINISTRY OF MINERALS AND ENERGY,
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA.
I am Dr.Roland Themba, 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
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. For absolute confidentiality,I will implore
you to reply to this letter on the address below, to entertain any questions concerning the
clarity of this transaction.E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you in anticipation of your co-operation.
Dr. Roland Themba.
This e-mail and any attachments are privileged and may contain confidential information
intended for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. If you are
not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure of this
information is prohibited under applicable law. If you have received this e-mail in
error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail. Disclosing, copying, distributing
or taking action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.