Hello, is anybody out there?

We received the following email on Friday.

From: From Mrs. Susan minister
To: undisclosed recipients:
Date Sent: 11/25/2011 8:56:25 AM

Unfortunately, there was no attachment. Now, normally we don’t respond to these things, but we felt obliged, for reasons unknown, to point out the omission and so sent the following:

From: Ellis Tyd
To: From Mrs. Susan minister
Date Sent: 11/25/2011 9:26:42 AM 

You forgot the attachment

That was the entire message. Short and to the point.

This was the response:

From: susanminister susanminister
To:  ellistyd@xyz.com
Date Sent: 11/25/2011 9:40:14 AM


Good Day: 

First, let me start by introducing myself as MS SUSAN SHABANGU, a mother of three children and the Minister of Mineral Resources of the Republic of South Africa since May 2009. To date under the auspices of the President of South Africa MR JACOB ZUMA. After due deliberation with my children, I decided to contact you for your assistance in standing as a beneficiary to the sum of US$30.5M (Thirty Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) You can view my profile at my (website by clicking(www.info.gov.za/gol/gcis_profile.jsp?id=1066 ) and read about me. THE PROPOSAL, After the swearing in ceremony making me the Minister of Mineral Resources, my husband Mr. Ndebele Shabangu died while he was on an official trip to Trinidad and Tobago in 1996.

So, Mrs. Susan Shabangu has been Minister of something or other since 2009 and her husband, who left on a trip after she was sworn in, died thirteen years earlier. We were unaware that South Africa was on the cutting edge of time travel technology. We apparently need to read more scientific journals.

If you do click the link above; go ahead, it’s safe; you will notice how much Mrs. Shabangu does not look like her passport picture included later in this post. The lack of resemblance is remarkable.

After his death, I discovered that he had some funds in a dollar account which amounted to the sum of US$30.5M with a security and finance institution in South Africa of which I will divulge information to you when I get your full consent and support to go for a change of beneficiary and subsequent transfer of the funds into you a comfortable and conducive account of your choice.

Now one might consider that a great sum of money, but you must also consider that since her husband was able to travel back in time, he could have invested that money in the middle ages and turned it into a considerably larger sum. Think of the Popes he could have bought, for example.
He could have travelled back to Rome and put an entirely different spin on things.
It could have been the Pretorian Guard instead of the Praetorian Guard. I don’t think David Tenant would be a good choice to play him in a movie though.

This fund emanated as a result of an over-invoiced contract which he executed with the Government of South Africa. Though I assisted him in getting this contract but I never knew that it was over-invoiced by him. I am afraid that the government or South Africa might start to investigate on contracts awarded from 1990 to date.

Poor Mrs. Shabangu would be much better off if she knew where her husband kept the time machine. On the other hand, if no one has noticed being $30 million short for 15 years, they aren’t likely to start missing it now.

If they discover this money in his bank account, they will confiscate it and seize his assets here in South Africa and this will definitely affect my political career in, government. I want your assistance in opening an account with bankers through my banker so that this fund could be wired into your account directly without any hitch.

Here, she is worried about the government finding the money in his bank account. Later, we will see why this is a silly thing to worry about. As far as the rest goes, we’ll have our people call your people – they can do lunch.

I am offering you 20% of the principal sum which amounts to US$6,100.000.00 (Six million One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) and 5% will be for any expenses that both of us may Insure in this transaction. And another 5% will go for Motherless babes home. However, you have to assure me and also be ready to go into agreement with me that you will not elope with my fund. 

While we are all in favor of helping Motherless babes (as well as babes with mothers), it seems that motherless babies might need the help more. Of course, motherless babies would be clones, would they not? As such, they probably have entire laboratories of people dedicated to their well-being.

If you agree to my terms, kindly as a matter of urgency send me an email.(ssusanminister85@gmail.com) if you want to speak with my Banker that promise to help move this fund out of south Africa to your account, that is fine and okay by me. or any time you want to speak with me then I will give you my private numbers so that we can talk more about the transfer, Please I do not need to remind you of the need for absolute Confidentiality of this transaction.

Well, we may send an email, but that should not imply acceptance of any terms on our part. As far as confidentiality goes, we’ll keep it between us and any one reading this blog, which usually isn’t many.

You might think where i got your email contact, I got your email id from the South Africa chamber of commerce in a search for a honest person who will assist me transfer my fund out of South Africa 

We would suggest that the South African Chamber of Commerce is in need of updating their honest persons file.

My, regards to your  family.

Yours faithfully, pls get back to me

Minister of Mineral Resources
Republic of South Africa since May 2009.
PHONE +27-79-979-3146 

Since whoever is on the other end of this doesn’t seem to be reading any of what is being sent, we sent this:

From: Ellis Tyd
To: susanminister susanminister
Date Sent: 11/26/2011 6:03:28 PM

I thought your email address was shabangushabangus729@gmail.com .
Why did you change it?
Now I have to edit my address book again.

We seem to have triggered yet another auto response:

Subject: MY PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESS ( please get back to me
From: susanminister susanminister
To: ellisdtyd@xyz.com

Date Sent: 11/28/2011 2:32:05 AM

My: Dear: 

thanks for your mail,   I acknowledge the receipt of your e-mail
message you sent to me I am very happy for the assistance you are
going to render to me in this transaction. It is only Almighty GOD
will guide you in your efforts. Well this transaction is 100%risk free
and will   favour me and you if we work hand to hand.

It would seem that whining about an address book is South African for Let’s Make a Deal.

(1) Attached below is a copy of my passport,
Can   you please forward to me a copy of your own also all i need from
you is sincerity, honesty and your Business knowledge for us to
transfer my money, which you will be compensated

If you scroll down, you will see a passport with the name Susan Shabangu on it. That is a true fact. That the passport belongs to either Susan Shabangu or the person writing these emails is another matter entirely. Directly below that you will see another copy of the passport covered with lines. This second passport will come into play later. Please be patient.

Moreover, before I will inform you on what to do, you have to give me
a strong assurance that this money will be safe when transferred into
your personal account in your country. As you know that this money is
my future including my family and I don’t want anybody to play or to
toy with it, that is why I am looking for a good person who will not betray
me and my family in this transaction.

Mrs. Shabangu, why are you worried that a complete stranger, chosen at random from the internet, would be any less honest than you who are a government official, trying to embezzle 30 million dollars, which are the proceeds from your late time travelling husband’s over-charging on government contracts. Please, we are almost insulted by your insinuations.

First of all, I will be very happy if you inform me your capability in
this transaction.

If that is what will make you happy, might we suggest stocking up on tissues.

And I would love you to inform me what type of business you are doing
in your country to enable me to know where this money will be.

It seems to us that, since you didn’t know where it was for the past fifteen years, not knowing where it will be in the near future should be no more distressing.

Meanwhile, I would love to know more details about you because I don’t
want somebody who will not be sincere to me but I strongly believe
that you will never betray me in this transaction.

For details about us, we will forward you a link to this posting once it’s on-line. That should clear up any misunderstandings or misgivings you may have toward us.

(2) I will be very happy if you inform me about all this questions
that I asked you to enable me to inform you what to do next. And all
the necessary documents that back up this transaction are intact with
me and before I will release them to you I have to be sure that you
will assist me in this transaction.

Actually, cloth handkerchiefs may be a better choice than tissues.

if only you are capable to assist me in this transaction. Kindly reply
this mail as soon as possible to enable me to explain more about the
smoothness of this transaction. and please send me your persona! phone
and fax number to me for easy communication in this transaction .you
can contact me on my direct line +27-79-979-3146   

For future reference personal is spelt with an “l” not an “!”. Our response will follow shortly.

You can view my profile at my (website by clicking(
www.info.gov.za/gol  /gcis_profile.jsp?id=1066 )
and clicking on contact information ,and clicking on Minister of
Mineral Resources  Republic of South Africa since May 2009. ,and
clicking on Ms Susan Shabangu .

There is a Mrs. Susan Shabangu, she is in the South African Government. Her very brief Wikipedia entry suggests that the writer of this email would be well advised to avoid making her acquaintance.

Regarding your question where i got your email contact, i got your
email id from the South Africa  chamber of commerce in a search for a
honest person who will assist me transfer my fund out of South Africa
my passport attached below and send me your privet cell phone number
and passport I.D or your driving   licenses.   iam  waiting to hear
from you.

Again, we must strongly suggest that the South Africans update their data files.

Minister of Mineral Resources
Republic of South Africa since May 2009.
Private Phone +27-79-979-3146
South Africa

MY PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESS ( please get back to me

Here in all its glory is the aforementioned passport.


Here in all its glory is the passport with mysterious lines.

A brief explanation of the lines. We opened the image in Photoshop and drew some lines.
Why did we do that, you ask.
Let us explain. First, all the lines are laid out on the editing grid in Photoshop, which we shall call PS from here on because our carpal tunnel is kicking up and PS is shorter.
The red lines are places where the images and text line up with the grid in PS.
The hot pink lines show where things are off a bit.

Since the actual passport was scanned at an angle, one might expect everything to be off by the same amount.
One might reasonably expect that and were the document legitimate, that would be true.
Sadly for our clever forger, they were out the day they covered geometry and angles and such.
What this means is that while all the preprinted parts of the passport are turned by the same degree as the overall passport, all the edited text lies up perfectly with the grid in PS.
Close, but no cigar.
As a bonus, the areas flagged with rectangles, point out how NOT to use the stamp tool to cover your tracks.
Oh well, thanks for playing. Better luck next time.

We decided that it would be impolite to point out the errors and so simply responded as follows:

Subject: RE: MY PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESS ( please get back to me
From: Ellis Tyd
To: ‘susanminister susanminister’
Date Sent: 11/28/2011 10:22:33 AM
I don’t have a passport, will that be a problem?

It seems that not having a passport, is not a problem at all. We suspect that we could have written anything at all and would still have gotten the following response:

From: susanminister susanminister
To: ellistyd@xyz.com
Date Sent: 11/28/2011 11:03:09 AM

My: Dear: ellistyd     

See how cleverly they have parsed our name out of our email address in order to custom tailor and personalize their response. We were nearly taken in until the cat pointed out the error of our ways.

Thanks very very much for your mail this morning, I am very happy that
God sent you to help me in this transfer, I had a meeting with the
standard bank manager today and he told me everything regarding the

My but they move fast don’t they. We sent a reply and less that an hour later we received a response. They would have received our response at approximately 5:30 PM South Africa time. In less that an hour, they travelled back to this morning, had a meeting with their banker and set all sorts of things in motion.

It would seem that Mrs. Shabangu has found her husband’s time machine. We wonder why she is continuing to press this issue then. Certainly she should be able to win yesterday’s lottery, anywhere. Why keep pushing the 30 million dollars. Go back to 1982 and buy Microsoft stock for God’s sake. Sell that off later and bet it all on the 1969 Jets. Really, have you no vision woman?

Well, Attached below is the two proof of the fund, I am trusting you
with everything regarding this transfer, I will advise you to contact
the banker that will give you the details, he is the standard bank manager
here in South Africa and he promise me
that he will transfer this fund out of
South Africa to your account,

The “two proof of the fund” turned out to be the same image file twice. We have only shown it once.

If you contact the transfer manager, please try and call him on phone
because I told him that you will send him mail and call him also.

We must be nearing the end of the email phase of our little endeavour.

The first step will be getting the money out of the country in your
name and then disbursement will follow, I have no fear but faith that
God is with me. Contact him and Please try and call me, I need to hear
your voice,

We are confused, are we supposed to contact the banker, or God directly? Please explain. Can’t you talk to him if he’s truly there with you?

Why do you need to hear our voice? It’s been described by some as sounding like someone dragging a rake across a chalkboard. How would that possibly help you?

Below are the details for you to contact the banker

See the bank contact details below:

In case we skipped the paragraph above.

Name: Mr.Sam Jonah KBE.
Standard Bank Credit Manager.
International Transfer Services
Email: ( sam_jonah_standardbank@rocketmail.com )

Contact person: Mr.Sam Jonah KBE.

Mrs. Shabangu’s typist must be from the Department of Redundancy Department. Also, why is the banker suddenly a Knight of the British Empire?

And another thing, why would a KBE from a South African bank need to use rocketmail? Isn’t that the sort of thing a scammer or spammer would use?

Please, if you contact him, Tell him that Mrs. Susan Shabangu, ask you
to contact him for the transfer, waiting for your call on my private
line +27-79-979-3146 once you contact the banker and I send my love to
you and your family.

Mrs. Shabangu strikes us as a very lonely woman for someone with 30 million dollars and a time machine. We are pretty sure, she’s not our type.

Thanks once again and let me know as soon as you contact him.



Private Phone +27-79-979-3146

These are possible definitions for MSQ. We are open to sugestions.

Please contact him

There is, or rather was, a real Coin Security Group. It was in South Africa. It has been known as The Protea Coin Group since 2007 however.

If you look at the “proof” you will notice that Mr. Shabagu’s name has more that one spelling. You may also notice that whoever typed this out had their CAPS-LOCK KEY STUCK ON.

Extra points for noticing in Paragraph 5 that, while the Shabangu’s names and that of Coin Security were typed into the form, it is made to appear the “His Wife” was part of the preprinted form. Odd, don’t you think?

It is also troublesome that this company has made nearly $875,000 by storing this money for the past fifteen years. It is also a puzzlement as to why Mrs. Shabangu only recently became aware of these funds when her name is on the form. Who have they been billing monthly for the $5,200?

Also note at the top; “You’re Ref.”.

Pretty slipshod for such a large corporation. 

We decided to point some of this out to Mrs. Shabangu:

From: Ellis Tyd
To: ‘susanminister susanminister’
Date Sent: 11/28/2011 12:51:59 PM
You do realize the this Coin company has charged you $875,000 for keeping you money. Have you considered keeping it a jar in your sock drawer?

I am not sure that these people are trustworthy.

That was two hours ago. They have not responded. They may have caught on to our ruse.

Please people, if you get emails like this, do some checking. It isn’t that difficult to work out that they are not real.

Even without further communication we are very comfortable with making the following proclamation.

This is a Fraud.

That is all.

This entry was posted in Email fraud, Humor, Sarcasm, Satire and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Hello, is anybody out there?

  1. Pingback: Hello, is anybody out there? Part 2…. | How to spot a Fraud

  2. Pingback: I don’t think you are who you think you are. | How to spot a Fraud

  3. Pingback: Close Encounters with a Burnt Mind. | How to spot a Fraud

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  5. isaac kirimi says:

    interesting i do have a different proposal but similar. am still corresponding with my guy

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