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Thread: The 419 scam goes South African

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The 419 scam goes South African

    A scam that has been around for ages, originally associated with Nigeria and known as the 419 scam, has developed a South African flavour.

    I received this today:

    > Subject: RE:Partnership Investment
    >
    >
    >> Mr George Phillips
    >> DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS AND ENERGY,
    >> PRETORIA , SOUTH
    >> AFRICA.
    >> Private fax N0:+27 –865-172839.
    >>
    >> ATTN: SIR / MADAM
    >>
    >> 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 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 two other top officials, we have in our possession an overdue payment
    >> in US 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
    >> £26.500,000.00 (Twenty-Six
    >> Million Five Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterling.). Though the
    >> actual contract cost has been paid to the original contractor,
    >> leaving the excess balance unclaimed.
    >>
    >> 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 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 £6.625m (Twenty-five percent), while
    >> my colleagues and I receive £17.225m (Sixty-five percent) and the balance
    >> of £2.650m (Ten percent) for taxation and miscellaneous
    >> expenses incurred.
    >>
    >> 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.
    >>
    >> Thanks for your co-operation.
    >> Regards,
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> Dr Jacob oti.
    >>
    >> N.B
    >> Please email your confidential Telephone and Fax number to enable me
    >> contact
    >> you for further clarifications.
    Last edited by Dave A; 25-Sep-08 at 07:36 AM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  2. #2
    Bronze Member Sieg's Avatar
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    Scams

    Dave: I think its actually referred to as a "419 scam". See http://home.rica.net/alphae/419coal/

    Sieg

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    Bronze Member Sieg's Avatar
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    Going south with the scam

    This is an e mail sent to my yahoo! e mail address:

    FROM THE DESK OF MR THEMBA LANGA
    AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING UNIT DEPT.
    AMALGAMATED BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA,
    (ABSA) JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA.
    Tel: +27 738-520-145 Fax: + 27 11 507 5740

    ATTN SIR/MADAM,


    IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THIS PROPOSAL WILL COME TO YOU AS A SUPRISE.
    THIS IS BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT MET BEFORE BUT I AM INSPIRED TO SEND YOU THIS
    EMAIL BY THE HUGE FUND TRASFER OPPORTUNITY THAT WILL BE OF MUTUAL BENEFIT TO
    THE TWO OF US.
    I AM MR THEMBA LANGA MANAGER, BILLS AND EXCHANGE AT THE FOREIGN REMITTANCE
    DEPARTMENT OF AMALGAMATED BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA.
    I AM WRITING THIS LETTER TO ASK FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND COOPERATION TO CARRY
    OUT THIS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY IN MY DEPARTMENT WE DISCOVERED AN ABANDONED
    SUM OF $27,(M) TWENTY SEVEN MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY IN AN ACCOUNT
    THAT BELONGS TO ONE OF OUR FOREIGN CUSTOMERS ENGR STEVE MOORE WHO DIED ALONG
    WITH HIS ENTIRE FAMILY OF A WIFE AND TWO CHILDREN IN PARIS PLANE CRASH ON 25
    JULY 2004. UNFORTUNATELY THEY ALL LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE ACCIDENT.

    HEARD OF HIS DEATH,WE HAVE BEEN EXPECTING HIS NEXT-OF-KIN TO COME OVER AND
    PUT CLAIMS FOR HIS MONEY AS THE HEIR, BECAUSE WE CANNOT RELEASE THE FUND
    FROM HIS ACCOUNT UNLESSSOMEONE APPLIES FOR CLAIM AS THE NEXT-OF-KIN TO THE
    DECEASED AS INDICATED IN OUR BANKING GUIDELINES. UNFORTUNATELY, NEITHER
    THEIR FAMILY MEMBER NOR DISTANT RELATIVE HAS EVER APPEARED TO CLAIM THE SAID
    FUND.
    UPON THIS DISCOVERY, I HAVE DECIDED TO MAKE BUSINESS WITH YOU AND RELEASE
    THE TOTAL AMOUNT INTO YOUR ACCOUNT AS THE HEIR OF THE FUND SINCE NO ONE CAME
    FOR IT OR DISCOVERED THE MAINTAINED ACCOUNT WITH OUR BANK, OTHERWISE THE
    FUND WILL BE RETURNED TO THE BANKS TREASURY AS UNCLAIMED FUND.

    I HAVE AGREED THAT OUR RATIO OF SHARING WILL BE AS STATED THUS; 30 % FOR YOU
    AS FOREIGN PARTNER,60 % FOR ME AND 10 % FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF ALL LOCAL AND
    FOREIGN EXPENCES INCURRED BY YOU AND ME DURING THE COURSE OF THIS BUSINESS.
    UPON THE SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THIS TRANSFER, I WILL COME TO YOUR COUNTRY
    AND MIND MY SHARE. IT IS FROM THE 60 %I INTEND TO IMPORT AGRICULTURAL
    MACHINERIES INTO MY COUNTRYAS A WAY OF RECYCLING THE FUND.
    TO COMMENCE THIS TRANSACTION,I REQUIRE YOU TO IMMEDIATELY INDICATE YOUR
    INTEREST BY A RETURN E-MAIL AND ENCLOSE YOUR PRIVATE CONTACT TELEPHONE
    NUMBER, FAX NUMBER, FULL NAME,ADDRESS AND YOUR DESIGNATED BANK COORDINATES
    TO ENABLE ME FILE LETTER OF CLAIM TO THE APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENTS FOR
    NECESSARY APPROVALS BEFORE THE TRANSFER CAN BE MADE.

    NOTE ; THIS TRANSACTION MUST BE KEPT STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL BECAUSE OF ITS
    NATURE. I LOOK FORWARD TO RECEIVING YOUR PROMPT RESPONSE. GET BACK TO ME ON
    THIS EMAILADDRESSES ,thembalanga@katamail.com
    PLEASE YOUR CONFIDENTIALITY IS HIGLY REQUIRED AS THIS TRANSACTION NEEDS AN
    UTMOST CONFIDENTIALITY.
    REGARDS,
    YOURS FAITHFULLY,
    MR. THEMBA LANGA
    AMALGAMATED BANK.


    Is the Amalgamated Bank not the give away? Who is SA refers to ABSA as Amalgamated Bank? Does anyone still remember United, Allied, Trust and Volkak (sic!) Banks?


    Sieg

  4. #4
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Why is it always 27 million? Maybe it is a bit like sharks, it is ALWAYS a six metre great white
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sieg View Post
    Dave: I think its actually referred to as a "419 scam".
    Thanks Sieg. I stand corrected. It seems I inflated the numbers although it seems I am not alone.

    I did Google for "917 scam" before I made the post (my rusty memory scratch attempt) and the top results confirmed it as the Nigerian scam, so in a rush, off I went. I know it's numbered after the number of the piece of legislation that is supposed to outlaw the practice in Nigeria.

    /drill into head: "419 scam 419 scam"
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Our company received one of these e-mails today. Supposedly from the Bank of Scotland.
    At one time there was an S.A.P. e-mail address which we were asked to forward these on to.
    Anyone know of the address?

    Thanks
    Yvonne Symons

  7. #7
    Silver Member Eugene's Avatar
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    About Nigerian 419 Fraud

    Due to the number of fraudulent emails, faxes and sometimes postal letters, received around the world, it is necessary to make the general public aware of the problem so that they do not become victims of a possible scam.

    The so-called Nigerian 419 Scam is intrinsically an advance fee fraud. The fraud is known as the 419 scam because it is outlined in Section 419 of the Nigerian Criminal Code.

    The fraudsters, are usually members of a criminal syndicate, who obtain money or goods from a company, its representatives or members of the public, through deception.

    Operation of the scam
    The scam is initiated with the fraudster contacting a targeted company or individual, either by email, fax or post. A business proposal is made by the scammers often posing as government or bank officials or in some other guise.

    They often claim that they have access to a large amount of money, usually American dollars.

    The proposal entails the transfer of the over-budgeted money to a bank account outside of their country, which is that of the targeted company or individual.

    A plausible explanation is usually given for the transfer, although the fraudsters basically appeal to the intended victim's greed. The person receiving the email, fax or letter is generally promised a sizeable percentage of the money to be transferred, as a commission, for the use of their bank account.

    If the intended victim is interested in the deal, they may be requested to forward a variety of paperwork which generally includes blank company letterheads which are duly signed, blank invoices, telephone and fax numbers, and especially bank account details. These being required to affect the transfer of the money into the bank account.

    How the money is obtained from victims
    Asking the victim to deposit money into a specified bank account to help cover expenses for completing the deal, which may include paying bribes to other parties in the country where the scam has originated.

    Once the original fee has been paid, "complications" often arise which necessitate the payment of more fees.

    Organizing a meeting in another country and, once the victim has travelled to that country, his passport is confiscated and he is detained until sufficient payment is received.

    Using the bank details and official letterheads to transfer money out of the victim's bank account and into an account under the control of the criminals.

    Once the money is lost, an "official" may contact the victim on the pretext of helping the victim retrieve the lost money, which, in turn, also costs money.

    One might think that it is inconceivable that a person could fall victim to such a questionable scheme. People have, however, fallen prey to the scheme to such an extent, that it has forced a number of countries to set up specific units to deal with this type of fraud. There are no reliable figures, which can be used to illustrate the extent of this scheme, as many of the victims do not report the incident due to the embarrassment that it may cause them.

    Indicators of a possible scam
    The letter will stress the urgency of the matter.

    The confidential nature of the transaction is stressed.

    Claims are made that the other parties are employed in, or have strong ties with Government or Bank officials.

    There may be a need to travel to another country.

    Many forged official-looking documents.

    Blank letterheads, invoices and banking details are requested.

    Additional fees are continuously requested in order to further the transaction.

    Most letters will indicate that the transaction is 100% risk-free.

    There will be an offer of a share of millions of, usually, US dollars.

    Precautionary Measures
    When one is considering entering into a business transaction with foreigners, the following precautionary measures can be taken which may help to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of an advance fee fraud:

    Check the credentials of the person or business, for example with the relevant embassy, to see whether or not the person operates a legitimate business or that the business does exist.

    Never provide the other party with blank letterheads or invoices.

    Never pay anything in advance unless you are absolutely sure that goods or services are going to be delivered.

    Ensure that your travel documents are in order.

    Strategies - Anonymous Bank Accounts
    It has come to the attention of the South African Police Service that a scheme is active in the Johannesburg area, whereby any person can open an anonymous bank account in a European country.

    There is no reference to a company name that supplies this kind of a service except for a fax number with a Johannesburg dialing code. From the information at the SA Police Service's disposal, this kind of conduct constitutes a transgression in terms of the Exchange Control Regulations.
    Prospective account holders are cautioned to do the necessary research regarding any scheme and to familiarize themselves with the legalities of South African Law, before they endeavor to partake in any scheme of this nature.

    Further, be very careful when and to whom they disclose their bank details, because a risk may well be involved.

    Generally speaking the dilemma exists that victims who have fallen prey to schemes are reluctant to approach the SA Police Service for help afterwards, because they have participated in illegal activities.

  8. #8
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    419 scam victim rescued

    Two Nigerian men were arrested and the Swedish man they allegedly kidnapped was rescue unharmed in Johannesburg, police said on Wednesday.

    Kenth Sadaaki Suzuki was apparently lured to South Africa by a group of Nigerians after he fell for the so-called 419 scam, police spokesperson senior Superintendent Vishnu Naidoo said.

    The victim was made to believe he would be part of an investment opportunity with a company known as Jeffdon Properties
    full story from IOL here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  9. #9
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Another victim - but at least another arrest made.
    Police arrested seven suspects in the early hours of Sunday morning in connection with the kidnapping of a Japanese businessman in a 419 scam.

    The six men and a woman, aged between 28 and 34 years, were directly linked with the two 419 syndicate members arrested on Tuesday last week after kidnapping a Swedish national and attempting to extort ransom from his family, said Director Sally de Beer.

    Six of the suspects were Nigerian citizens and one a South African.

    In the latest incident, the Japanese national, Osamai Hitomi (47), was lured to the country under the false impression that he would be engaged in an investment opportunity with a company by the name of Jeffdon Properties.

    "Once he arrived in the country on Friday September 26 and met with the syndicate members he was kidnapped and held hostage in a house in Alberton. His family was contacted and a ransom of $5-million was demanded," said De Beer.
    full story from M&G here
    It looks like Jeffdon Properties is going to be another keyword to watch out for in the hall of infamy.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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