This is an example of one of the oldest and most familiar of all advance fee frauds: the over-invoiced contract scam.
(Read more about how advance fee scams work.)
Someone who calls himself “Micheal Brown” (not “Michael Brown”) needs your help to move some money he has been skimming off the top of big government contracts in Africa. If you can just give him access to your bank account, he can temporarily deposit the money there, and he’ll give you a cut for your trouble. This is a long one:
Subject: Contract Award Committee (WAHSO)
From: “Dr. Micheal Brown” email@example.com
Date: Sat, 06 Jun 2015
Compliments of the day to you. I hope your doing well and that this letter meets you and your family in good health.
On my honor, I want to introduce myself, my name is Dr. Micheal Brown, I am the chairman of Contract Tender Board/Award Committee of West African Health Support Organization (WAHSO) we have our headquarters in Accra Ghana from where I operates but our sub and area offices are in all member states of the organization. This organization is an arm of the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS). It is the largest single organization operating here in West African sub-region with 15 member states and my organization sees about health support related matters in the whole region.
In 2009 there was an outbreak of cerebral meningitis in many member states of our region including Mali, Republic of Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde. The outbreak of this disease and its rapid spread was alarming and a disaster so my organization was mandated by the regional executive body to immediately take every necessary action to bring the situation under control. We swung into action in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO). We awarded contracts to various drug manufactures and large drug distributing companies both in South Africa, Europe and Asia for supply of drugs and related services for both cure and prevention of the disease from spreading to other states.
The contract entered with those companies was initially meant to last for one year but unfortunately we found out before the end of the contract that we grossly underestimated the situation at hand then the contract was extended for more one year and more companies were also engaged in the war against the disease and its spread which ended in early 2013.
During the deliberations and the processing of the contracts, myself and members of my committee connived and inflated the value of the contract to the tune of 28.83 million usd. The contract has been completed long before now and full payments made to all the suppliers of both drugs and services used in the fight against the disease while the disease itself has been declared flushed in the areas.
The balance of the inflated amount has been floating in the balance sheet of the agency’s account and recently the bank manager wrote and required me to forward account where the remaining of the balance will be paid to. It is on this regard that I am inviting you to come and partner with us so we can move this fund out of Africa for our collective interest.
What we need is for you to provide a durable account that we would use to receive this money for the benefit of all of us. We made up this mark up in order take care of our retirement benefits because some of us in this committee are due for retirement soon and we believe this will help in no small measure to effect great change in our generations coupled with the fact that the project was a multi-million dollar one so it provided a very unique and great opportunity for us all.
If you will want to partner with us as a businessman you will know that you must be able to provide an account that will have the capacity to contain the volume of money involved and then we can negotiate with you the protocol and sharing formula of the money.
We are matured men in the highest cadres of our careers and would want to protect both our reputation which we have worked hard over the years to build, our family names, careers and grown up children we have, so we would want you to take this transaction serious and give it it’s desired attention if you accepts this partnership.
Please confirm the receipt of this message and let us know your position immediately.
Dr. Micheal Brown
Contract Award Committee
West African Health Support Organization (WAHSO)
South Labadi Beach Estate, Accra Ghana.
Even if there were such a person as “Micheal Brown” and even if this over-invoiced contract did exist, what he is proposing is of course illegal and you would likely get arrested. But the whole proposal is a scam from the beginning: there isn’t and never was any over-invoiced contract. There’s just a scammer trying to gain access to your bank account. Study the information and examples we have here on ScamHunter.org so you will be able to recognize scams like this in the future.