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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:
From: "JOHNNY WAYAS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2005 17:54:40 +0000
Subject: Mutual Benefit Transaction
From:Mr. Johnny Wayas
Johannesburg, South Africa.
Hello Dear Friend,
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 this business.
Within the Department of Minerals & Energy where I work as a Director of
Audit and Project Implementation and with the co-operation of three other
top officials, we have in our possession an overdue payment in US Dollar
funds. 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$28.600,000.00
(Twenty Eight Million Six Hundred Thousand US Dollars). Though the actual
contract cost has been paid to the original contractor, leaving the excess
Since the present Government is determined to pay foreign contractors all
debts owed, so as to maintain good relationship with foreign governments and
non-governmental agencies. We intend to include our bills for approvals with
the Department of Finance and the Contracts Award and Payments Committee. So
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 company.
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
so negotiated and agreed upon by both you and we on this side, before
further details will change hands to enhance our primary objective.The mode
of sharing after a successful transfer of the money into your account, shall
be 60% to my colleagues and I, for the role you will be expected to play in
this deal, we have agreed to give you 30% of the total sum and 10% for the
expenses we are going to encounter by the two parties at the course of this
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 favor of
you/your company to settle any legality. 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.
I expect your urgent response to enable us conclude this transaction
urgently without any hitch. Kindly notify me via my email for further
details upon your acceptance of this proposal.
Thanks for your co-operation.