Scam Alert! Mrs. Teresa Mpume, a Wealthy Widow

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The message below (shown in yellow) is a familiar type of scam message that checks a lot of the usual boxes. A wealthy widow (check) is dying from cancer (check). She needs your help to oversee her fortune (check) because her soon-to-be-orphaned child (check) is too young to manage it.

Unfortunately, “Teresa Mpume” doesn’t really exist. She (or he) is just a scammer trying to tug at your heartstrings, and then eventually empty out your bank account.

date: Dec 22, 2020
subject: From Mrs.Teresa Mpume

From Mrs.Teresa Mpume

My Dearest Beloved,

First, let me start by introducing myself. My name is Mrs. Teresa Mpume, a nationality of South Africa, I was working with Build Safe South Africa. You can view the profile of Build Safe South Africa at ( and read about us. I am married to late Mr.Thulani Mpume and we were married for twenty years with a child. He died after an illness that lasted for four weeks. Please know this may come to you by surprise, i know that you do not know me, but i need your assistance hence i am writing to you as my will directed me, and it is my desire to go into this business / relationship with you.

When my late husband was alive we deposited the sum of USD$15 .5M (Fifteen Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S.Dollars) with Finance, Though i assisted him in getting this contract for this deposit signed. I am afraid that the government of South Africa might start to investigate contracts awarded from Build Safe South Africa. This money is still with the bank. Recently my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next three months due to my cancer problem, though what disturbs me most is my stroke, Having to know my condition I want to invest this money into any profitable business of your choice, whatever interest/profit that will come out from this investment of your choice will be shared by both parties.

I have a child that will inherit this money but my son cannot carry out this work by himself, my son is just 15 year old now and growing up in Africa and handling this huge amount of money will certainly be a disaster for a fifteen year old, He is not mature yet. Hence this the reason for taking this bold decision in contacting you. I am not afraid of death as I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. I would like you to understand that my contact to you is by my own free will, and as soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Finance/bank. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will empower you as the new beneficiary of this fund through my attorney. My happiness is that I will be living something worthy for my son whom I will be living behind. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for an individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as i stated here and i will like you to contact me immediately you receive this mail so that i will instruct the Finance/bank to! Transfer this fund into your account.

My Regards to your Family,
Yours Faithfully,
Mrs. Teresa Mpume
Use my private Email:

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Alfonso Camacho (oil scam)

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This is an example of a business contract scam with a shady angle. If you’ll just help “Alfonso Camacho” with his crude oil deal, then you can have a cut of the proceeds. But as with all advance fee frauds, there really is no oil deal and “Alfonso” is just a scammer who is probably working from an internet cafe somewhere in Africa.

Subject: Please treat as urgent.
From: “Mr. Alfonso Camacho”
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2016

Attn: Dear Friend,

After my official enquiry from the foreign trade office and the chamber of commerce and industry, decided to contact you, my name is Alfonso Amantius Camacho a staff in the National petroleum agency of Sao Tome and Principe (NPA-STP), I am contacting you for a partnership project as I secured a crude oil lifting license from the National Petroleum Agency (STP-NPA) where I work but cannot make use of it alone owing to the fact that I am a staff in the NPA, so it is on this ground that I am contacting you so we can be partners in this field.

The license was for 5years at 24 million Barrels/12months. i.e., the license has an operating duration of five (5) years.

I will package you as the new allocation license beneficiary since my position in the agency doesn’t permit me to handle it alone.

Due to my position in the Petroleum Agency, I cannot handle this project alone; you have all the qualities needed for this project.

All we need do to are these:

1. We have to officially register a company with the Sao Tome and Principe Petroleum Agency, which shall serve as our lifting company as to enable us make use of this lifting license.

2. I will ensure that all lifting procedures are in place and buyers readily available.

3. You stand in as the license operator for all the lifting and sales transactions.

If accepted we can start working on this project, I know oil business may not be your line of business but I will handle and manage this project and also make sure that I guide you on what to do at any given time.

Don’t forget to furnish me with your private phone and fax numbers for easier communication amongst us.

I await your response.

Alfonso Amantius Camacho.

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The message below is a standard type of lottery scam message, sent randomly to thousands of people around the world. If you make the mistake of replying to it, the scammer will tell you that your (non-existent) winnings are ready to be delivered as soon as you pay a “transfer fee” or “lottery tax” or some such thing. And then if you make the bigger mistake of paying this advance fee, the scammer will disappear with your money, never to be heard from again.

Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2015

RUGBYWORLDCUP SA PROMO DRAW :-) Congratulations !! Your Active E-mail address has been selected randomly by RUGBYWORLDCUP SA PROMOTIONAL DRAW 2015. You have won (GBP) £450,000.00 in RUGBYWORLDCUP SA PROMOTIONAL DRAW 2015. Call +27110682225/+27633545764 OR EMAIL: {FULL NAMES; PHONE NR, COUNTRY, REFERENCE NR}. for claims with your Reference Number: ( RESA84W/05 ) For Your Cash Prize.

Here at the Scam Hunter website ( we document scam messages like the one above in order to help people around the world stay safe online. Please share our scam alerts with your friends and coworkers today.

Susan Shabangu Scam

The name of the South African government official Susan Shabangu has been used by email scammers for many years. The latest such message follows a format that scammers are starting to use more often: a very brief email, combined with an attachment that includes more details. The email itself only reads:

Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2015


Although it’s not usually a good idea to open attachments from people you don’t know, we sometimes do it here at so we can provide as much information to our readers as possible. The attachment is a pdf file that contains a very familiar advance fee fraud letter with all the usual features — a secret bank account, a rich widow, and poor orphans:

Minister of Women in the Presidency
TELE: 8468-454-34

Good Day:

First, let me start by introducing myself as MS SUSAN SHABANGU, a mother of three children and the Minister of Women in the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa since May 2014. 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 ) and read about me. THE PROPOSAL, After the swearing in ceremony making me the Minister of Women in the Presidency, my husband Mr. Ndebele Shabangu died while he was on an official trip to china in 2014.

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.

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 of South Africa might start to investigate on contracts awarded from 1990 to date.

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. 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.

If you agree to my terms, kindly as a matter of urgency send me an email. ( ) 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 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.

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

My regards to your family.

Yours faithfully, pls get back to me

Minister of Women in the Presidency
Republic of South Africa since May 2014.
TELE: 8468-454-34

Since “Susan Shabangu” seems to be popular with the scammer crowd, we can be pretty sure we’ll see her name in more messages in the future.

John Chao, Coca-Cola Award (Scam Alert)

Some email scammers have taken to sending short messages, and adding the details of their scam in an attachment. This is probably a technique to avoid spam email filters, and to be able to send an “official” looking document. In the example below, the email claims that you have won a great prize from the Coca-Cola Company, and need to get in touch with “John Chao” to let him know where to send the money:

Date: Sat, 9 May 2015
From: “Info@CocaCola”
Subject: Congrats

Kindly view the attached file and forward your details to our S.A fiduciary agent via email provided below to enable him proceed with your payment.

Mr. John Chao
Phone No: +27840248848

The attached file is an image called “Coke.JPG” that begins:

We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded final draws held in Durban, South Africa, by Coca-Cola Company in conjunction with FIFA. Your email was among 3 Lucky winners who won £1,000,000.00 (One Million Great Britain Pound Sterling) each on the COCA-COLA COMPANY PROMOTION AWARD.

Alas, it’s just another lottery scam, and if you take the bait you’ll be sending”John Chao” all sorts of “fees” or “taxes” to release the money, and then he’ll disappear, never to be heard from again.

Helen Collins (marriage scam)

Marriage scams are as old as money scams. (Or are they the same thing?) “Helen Collins” might like to marry you — if you are marriage minded, serious, and trustworthy. She’ll even relocate from South Africa or Great Britain to join you! Of course this would depend upon you sending her some money (a point she forgot to mention), and then once your money is in her pocket … poof! … no more “Helen Collins.”

from Helen
date Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 5:49 PM
subject Love from Helen

How are you today? I hope you are fine. My name Helen Collins, 32 years from South Africa, presently living in United Kingdom. I am sincere, considerate, honest, responsible, supportive, open minded, thoughtful, understanding and confident. I am a woman with good nature,I am seeking for articulate man, marriage minded, who is serious, trustworthy, and willing to pursue a serious relation.I’m looking for someone very special to share my life with. I’m looking for my Soulmate & best friend, someone I can share all of life’s experiences with, good & bad, side by side.

I need a honest, caring, understanding, good listener, goal oreinted who knows what he wants and knows how to have fun in life.I am looking forward to hear from you,and hope we can find a great future together. I am willing to visit the man of my desire in what ever location he may be. I am willing to relocate to my man if he wants me to. I need a man who will take me up the skies and give me all the love i need. Please write back to me with a copy of your pics and i will give more details and my pics for you and i to get acquinted in good time.

Thank you for your time and remain blessed.

Love from,
Helen Collins

Nora Becky and Her Cancer (scam alert)

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This scam message is unusual in that it arrived with an attachment. Most email users know not to open unfamiliar attachments as they may contain computer viruses, but the scammer here perhaps thought the ability to format the message as though it were an actual letter was worth the chance.

In its content, this is a standard “dying woman” scam: a wealthy widow dying of cancer, who is a devout Christian, needs your help to give away her fortune to charity. Alas, there’s really no dying widow and no money on deposit. There’s just a scammer trying to pick your pocket.

The initial email text reads:

from: NORA BECKY (
date: Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 4:24 AM

I am Mrs. Nora Becky. Presently, I’m in a hospital undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs. Please see the attachment and read through the letter in details. Thank you.

And the attachment reads:

Greetings to you,

I am Mrs. Nora Becky, I was married to Dr. Van Becky, who worked with National Iranian South oil company (NISOC) for twenty three years before he died in the year 2006, May be you must have heard about him in the oil firm. We were married for thirty-seven years without a child. He died during one of the war in Iran. He was held hostage and slain to death by protesting youths of the region.

Before his death we were both devoted Christians. Since his death I decided not to re-marry. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum USD$8,000,000.00 (Eight Million U.S. Dollars) with a Security Company in South Africa. Presently, this money is still with the Security Company and the management just wrote me as the beneficiary to come forward to receive the money or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf if I can not come over.

Presently, I’m with my laptop in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs. I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only less than (2) two months to live.

It is my last wish to see that this money is invested wisely and at the end of every year funds are distributed among charity organization. I want a reliable and honest person that will use this money to reach to the motherless and also less privileges, to reach to the Katrina Hurricane, the sick that has no body to take care of them, the poor and widows and to set up a Cancer research.

If you are willing and honest enough to do my wishes, as soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the lawyer who will give you the documents/details of the transaction and guide you through the process. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will prove you as the new beneficiary of this fund. You are to help me invest this fund into real estate and stocks. You will be entitled to 20% of every profit you make in a year.  Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated therein.

Please do all things possible to make my wish come through. Email: (

Hoping to hearing from you soon.


Mother Nora Becky

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