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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.
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
Fraud email example:
From: "LETTER FROM MR.JOSEPH POON" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 14:24:03 +0100
Subject: LETTER FROM MR.JOSEPH POON
I am Mr.Joseph Poon Executive Director Of Operations of the Hang Seng Bank
Ltd,Sai Wan Ho Branch,171 Shaukiwan Road Hong Kong.
An Iraqi named Hamadi Hashem a business man made a numbered fixed deposit
of (346,736,899.68 HKD) for 18 calendar months; this is valued to Forty Four
million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only in my branch. Upon
maturity several notices was sent to him, even during the war, four years
ago (2003). Again after the war another notification was sent and still no
response came from him. We later found out that Hamadi Hashem and his family
had been killed during the war in bomb blast that hit their home at
Mukaradeeb where his personal oil well was.After further investigation it
was also discovered that Hamadi Hashem did not declare any next of kin in
his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit. And he
also confided in me the last time he was at my office that no one except me
knew of his deposit in my bank. So, Forty Four million Five Hundred Thousand
United State Dollars is still lying in my bank and no one will ever come
forward to claim it. What bothers me most is that according to the laws of
my country at the expiration five years six months the funds will revert to
the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if nobody applies to claim the
My proposal, I am prepared to place you as the next of kin in a position to
instruct HANG SENG BANK to release the deposit to you as the closest
surviving relation. Upon receipt of the deposit, I am prepared to share the
money with you in half. That is: I will simply nominate you as the next of
kin and have them release the deposit to you. We share the proceeds FIFTY -
FIFTY. I would have gone ahead to ask the funds be released to me, but that
would have drawn a
straight line in my involvement in claiming the deposit. I assure you that
I could have the deposit released to you within a few days. I will simply
inform the bank of the final closing of the file relating to Hamadi Hashem I
will then officially communicate with my Bank and instruct them to release
the deposit to you. With these: all is done. I am aware of the consequences
of this proposal. I ask that if you find no interest in this project that
you should discard this mail. I ask that you do not be vindictive and
destructive. If my offer is of no appeal to you, delete this message and
forget I ever contacted you. Do not destroy my career because you do not
approve of my proposal.
You may not know this but people like myself who have made tidy sums out of
comparable situations run the whole private banking sector. I am not a
criminal and what I do, I do not find against good conscience, this may be
hard for you to understand, but the dynamics of my industry dictates that I
make this move. Such opportunities only come ones way once in a lifetime. I
cannot let this chance pass me by, for once I find myself in total control
of my destiny. These
chances wont pass me by. I ask that you do not destroy my chance, if you
will not work with me let me know and let me move on with my life but do not
destroy me. I am a family man and this is an opportunity to provide them
with new opportunities. There is a reward for this project and it is a task
well worth undertaking. I have evaluated the risks and the only risk I have
here is from you refusing to work with me and alerting my bank. I am the
only one who
knows of this situation, good fortune has blessed you with a name that has
planted you into the center of relevance in my life. Lets share the
If you give me positive signals, I will initiate this process towards a
conclusion. I wish to inform you that should you contact me via official
channels;I will deny knowing you and about this project. I repeat, I do not
want you contacting me through my official phone lines nor do I want you
contacting me through my official email account. Contact me only through the
numbers I will provide for you and also through this email address:
email@example.com. I do not want any direct link between
you and me. My official lines are not secure lines as they are periodically
monitored to assess our level of customer care in line with our Total
Quality Management Policy. Please observe this instruction religiously.
Please, again, note I am a family man, I have wife and children. I send you
this mail not without a measure of fear as to what the consequences, but I
know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained and that success and
riches never come easy or on a platter of gold. This is the one truth I have
learned from my private banking clients. Do not betray my confidence. If we
can be of one accord, we should plan a meeting soon.
Should you be interested please send me your full names, Phone Number and
current residential address and I will prefer you to reach me on the email
address below.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally after that I shall provide you with more details of this operation.
Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.
I await your response.