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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: Tue, 31 May 2005 03:21:58 +0200
DR. NELSON MULETTE,
DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS AND ENERGY,
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA.
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL & URGENT
It is my great pleasure to write you this letter on behalf of my
colleagues. Your information was given to me by a member of the South African
Export Promotion Council (SAEPC) who was with the Government delegation
on a trip to your country for a bilateral conference talk to encourage
foreign investors. I have decided to seek a confidential co-operation
with you in the execution of the deal hereunder for the benefit of all
parties and hope you will keep it confidential because of the nature of
Within the Department of Minerals & Energy where I work as a Director
of Audit and Project Implementation and with the co-operation of two
other t! op officials, we have in our possession an overdue payment in US
The said funds represent certain percentage of the total contract value
executed on behalf of my Department by a foreign contracting firm,
which we the officials over-invoiced to the amount of US$26.500,000.00
(TwentySix Million Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars). Though the actual
contract cost has been paid to the original contractor, leaving the excess
Since the present elected Government is determined to pay foreign
contractors all debts owed, so as to maintain good relationship with foreign
governments and non-government agencies, we included our bills for
approvals with the Department of Finance and the South Africa Reserve Bank
(SARB). We are seeking your assistance to front as beneficiary of the
unclaimed funds, since we are not allowed to operate foreign accounts.
Details and change of beneficiary information upon application for claim
to reflect payment and approvals will be secured on behalf of you/your
I have the authority of my partners involved to propose that should you
be willing to assist us in this transaction your share as compensation
will be US$6.625m (25%), while my colleagues and I receive US$17.225m
(65%) and the balance of US$2.650m (10%) for taxation and miscellaneous
The business is completely safe and secure, provided you treat it with
utmost confidentiality. It does not matter whether you/your Company
does contract projects, as a transfer of powers will be secured in favour
of you/your Company. 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 us.
Kindly notify me by my email address:firstname.lastname@example.org
for further details upon your acceptance of this proposal.
T! hanks for your co-operation.
DR. NELSON MULETTE.
N.B Please email your confidential Telephone number to enable me contact you
for further clarifications.