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Home ScamsAdvance Fee Scams Department of Minerals and Natural Resources ‘Business Proposal’ Scam

Department of Minerals and Natural Resources ‘Business Proposal’ Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, an official with South Africa’s Department of Minerals and Natural Resources has a confidential business proposal for you.

Supposedly, the official is “in search of an agent to assist us in the transfer of (USD32.5M) and subsequent investment in properties in your country”.  He promises that you will receive 20% of the $32 million in exchange for your assistance.

He urges you to respond to his “confidential email address” if you wish to proceed with the supposed deal.

But, in fact, the email is just another advance fee scam. The email was not sent by the Department of Minerals and Natural Resources or any other legitimate entity.  The million-dollar fund discussed in the message does not exist.

If you participate you risk losing your money and having your identity stolen. And, alas, you have no chance whatsoever of actually receiving any of the promised funds.
After you contact the “Project Allocation Manager”, who is actually just a scammer with a computer an email address, you will be told that you must pay various upfront fees before the “deal” can proceed. The scammer will make some silly excuse as to why these supposed fees cannot be paid out of the fund itself and warn that the deal will fail if you do not pay in advance.

If you do send money, the scammer will likely ask you to send even more. Eventually, he will cease all contact with you.  You will never get your money back.

To make matters even worse, the scammer may have managed to trick you into sending him a large amount of your personal and financial information. This information may later be used to steal your identity.

Advance fee scams like this are very common and have been around in various forms for many decades.

Read more about Advance Fee Scams 

An example of the scam email:


Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY & NATURAL RESOURCES

FROM THE DESK OF:
Eng Stephenson Richards M.sc
(Manager 14 Project Allocation)
Email:L.B160K@AOL.COMCONFIDENTIALHello,

I am a member of the contract award committee and 14 project allocation manager, of the Department of Minerals and Natural Resources in South Africa; I am in search of an agent to assist us in the transfer of (USD32.5M) and subsequent investment in properties in your country.

You will be required to.
(1) Assist in the transfer of the said funds
(2) Advise on lucrative areas for investment
(3) Assist us in purchase of properties.
If you decide to render your service to us in this regard, 20% of the total sum of USD11.5M will be for you.

Thank you and God bless, as I wait in anticipation of your fullest co-operation.
Yours Faithfully,
Eng Stephenson Richards M.sc
N.B: Please endeavor to send me a response via my more Confidential email address (above) for further details



Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer