Sheriff's Office News Releases

Warning to Public Regarding Nigerian Scam

PUBLISHED:Mon August 31, 2015

Osceola County, Florida – Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies want to warn the public about a common scam. Recently, several Osceola County residents have received correspondence regarding the Nigerian scam, typically known as an Advanced Fee Scam or 419 Scam, which offers a large sum of money on the condition you help them transfer it out of the country. The scammer will indicate he/she has a large sum of money “trapped” in central banks or other countries or that they have a large inheritance restricted by taxes in their country. Contact is commonly made by email, letter, text message or social media.

The Sheriff’s Office is providing the following tips:

  • Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust and never by mail.
  • Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for upfront payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency. It is rare to recover money sent this way.
  • Do not agree to transfer money for someone else. Money laundering is a criminal offense.
  • Seek independent advice from someone you know and trust if in doubt.
  • Verify the identity of the contact by calling the relevant organization directly. Do not use the contact information provided in the message sent to you.
  • Beware, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

If you think you have provided your account details or personal identification information, contact your financial institution immediately.
We encourage citizens to report scams to the Internet Crime Complaint Center who works in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Their Complaint Referral Form is located at https://complaint.ic3.gov/. Reporting your incident helps warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screen shot.