Offenders of this scam compile a letter in which they claim that they, somehow, legally or illegally, came into possession of millions of US dollars. They claim in the letter that they require the assistance of a trustworthy individual, who could avail his/her bank account in order for the funds to be transferred therein.
In the letter they claim that they would, at a later stage, personally travel to the country where the reader is based in order to make arrangements to transfer the millions to their own accounts. In return they offer the reader 10% of the total amount they claim to be in possession in. In many instances, this 10% could amount up to US $10m.
Once the letter is compiled, these offenders will register free and anonymous email account, generally with Gmail, Yahoo or Mail.com, which they will use for distributing the scam letter. They will also register a second free and anonymous email, which are being used for communication purposes, as they are well aware that the first email address, used for the distribution of the scam letter will be closed by the service provider.
Offenders will then make use of e-mail harvesting software in order to compile large e-mail lists. This software is generally designed to crawl the Internet and gather e-mail addresses from websites and in some cases, even from online databases.
Once the list is compiled, the scam letter will be distributed to all email addresses on the list. The offender will now sit back and monitor his email for any replies.
Once a victim agrees to assist the offenders would require personal identifiable information, as well as banking information where the millions can be transferred into. Contrary to the believe that this information is used by offenders to empty the bank account of victims, they in fact only use this information to falsify documents which they present to the victim proving that the millions will be transferred to the victim’s bank account.
Once the personal and banking information of the victim is received the offenders will present the victim with falsified documents, bearing the victims information, which will confirm that the millions will be transferred within a certain period of time.
Before the transfer comes into affect the offenders will inform the victim that there was a problem with the transfer and it was stopped. They will commence with providing excuses as to why the bank could not have affected the transfer. They then state that certain banking fees need to be paid before the money is released.
In all instances the offenders will inform the victims that they are unable to pay the required costs, and will request the victim to pay the small amount required in order for the transfer to proceed again.
In some instances, offenders may offer to pay half the fee and would request the victim to pay the other half. The victim will then have to send the money, normally via Moneygram to a specified country.
Once the victim paid the required fee, the next problem will occur and the transfer again stopped. Again some small fee will need to be paid and again the offenders will ask the victim to pay the fee.
In the majority of instances the offenders will require the victim to travel to their countries, where they meet the victim and continue defrauding the victim in person. This is normally done when a victim no longer wish to pay the fees required and offenders takes on last attempt in defrauding victims from their funds.
As long as the victim pays the required fees, the more problems will occur and even more fees required. Once the victim refuse to pay any further fees the offenders will stop the communication and disappear.