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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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Some comments about the following email:
Fraud email example:
From: Chief Dr.Phil E.Bernard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2006 21:28:29 +0100
Subject: RE: BUSINESS PROPOSAL - STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
I am Chief Dr. Phil E. Bernard, a native of Cape Town in South
Africa and I am an Executive Accountant with the
South African department of Mining and Natural Resources.
Please accept my apology for using this medium to
convey a transaction/business of this magnitude, but
this is due to the confidentiality and prompt access
reposed on this medium. I have decided to
seek your co-operation in the execution of this deal
described hereunder, for the benefit of all parties
and hoping you will keep it as TOP SECRET because
of the nature of the business.
Within the department of Mining and Natural
Resources (where I work as a director), and with the
cooperation of four other top officials, we have in our
possession as overdue payment bills totaling Forty Five Million,
Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars (US$45,500,000.00)
which we want to transfer abroad with the assistance
and cooperation of a company/or an individual to
receive the said funds, via a reliable Bank Account.
Quite frankly, we are handicapped as the South
African civil service laws (Code of Conduct Bureau) strongly
prohibits us from owning/or operating a foreign
account hence your importance in this
This amount (US$45.5M) represents the balance of the
total value of a contract executed on behalf of my
department by a foreign contracting firm which we
the officials (involved) deliberately over-invoiced.
Though the actual cost have been paid to the
original contractor leaving the balance in the tune of the
said amount which we have in principle gotten approval to
remit by Key Tested Telegraphic transfer (K.T.T.) to
any foreign bank account you will provide by filing
an application through the justice ministry 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
propose that should you be willing to assist us in
this transaction by way of providing the required
account in receiving these funds, your share of the
entire sum will be 30% amounting to Us$13.65Million
of the US$45.5Million, 60% amounting to US$27.3Million
for us and 10% amounting to US$4.55Million will be
used to settle taxation and other miscellaneous
expenses in the course of transferring the funds to your account.
The business itself is 100% foolproof
and safe, as long as you maintain utmost secrecy and
confidentiality. Further more your area of
specialization will not be a hindrance to the
successful completion of this transaction. I have
reposed my confidence in you and hope you will not
disappoint me. Should you be willing to assist
positively with a common goal, endeavor to contact
me immediately through my above email address.
If you are not interested, please also indicate so
that it will enable me to contact other foreign
partner with recommendations to carry out this deal.
I want to assure you that my colleagues and I are in
position to make the payment of this claim possible
provided that you can give us a very concrete
assurance of the safety of our share. Please, always
treat this matter with utmost confidentiality,
because we will not comprehend any form of exposure as we
are still in active government service. Time is of
essence in this business, so kindly act fast.
I await in anticipation your fullest co-operation.
Chief Dr. Phil E. Bernard.