How to Avoid Non-Delivery Scams

Articles to Educate You About And Learn How to Avoid 419 Scams
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Caped Crusader
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How to Avoid Non-Delivery Scams


Unread post by Caped Crusader » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:04 pm

Non-Delivery Scams

An Introduction - How They Work

Scammers buy domains and erect legitimate looking websites (many times they will actually copy or clone the website of a legitimate merchant). They may select specific domains because they are similar to the domains of legitimate companies in order to confuse victims. They may also assume the identity of legitimate but defunct companies. In these cases they will list that company’s registration and tax numbers, etc. as it were thier own. To “prove” their legitimacy, they will produce forged documents, including authentic looking invoices, packing orders, price lists, bills of laden, shipping documents, etc.. Frequently, they will send you copies of their passports to reassure you. Never rely on any document or passport that you receive over the internet. These copies can easily be forged with the help of numerous programs, including Photoshop. Any merchant who sends you his or her passport should be considered extremely suspicious because that is not how legitimate businesses conduct themselves.

Scammers will also register their fake companies in whatever country they are supposedly located. They also list their fake companies in various free business directories. Some will even have a social media presence, however all thier (or other fake businesses) posts will usually be very recent. Obviously, just because a company is registered does not mean that it is legitimate or it will not scam you. Government business registrars are not law enforcement and do not police companies. The fact that a company appears on social media or in many business directories, free or otherwise is no assurance that it is legitimate.

Scammers frequently offer prices that are lower than the norm. This is to attract victims. More importantly, they frequently spam as they obviously have no regular customers or clientele. Thus, if you receive an unsolicited email offering to sell you products or inviting you to do business with an unfamiliar “company” you should be extremely apprehensive.

Note: This is just a rough outline. Scammers only have one convince you that they are real companies and they can be very inventive. Do not believe that a company is real simply because they do not correspond to the decriptions above!

Ultimately, a domain, website, some knowledge of the products they pretend to sell and the ability to generate phony documents is all these scammers have. If they are able to con you into placing an order with them, they will demand full or partial payment in the form of either a money transfer, i.e. Western Union or MoneyGram, or bank to bank (T/T) transfer. Neither of these methods are secure or dependent on the actual delivery of goods. Read Never Wire Money to Strangers!

Most of the fake companies claim to be internationally wholesale commodities such as beer, soft drinks and energy drinks, a4 paper, powdered milk and baby formula, even illegal drugs and prescription medicines, etc. They are scams from West African scammers mainly from Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana etc., living in various countries, most having entered those countries using student or working visas. Here are some scammers that have been formerly identified List of Identified Cameroon Scammers and List of Identified Nigerian Scammers

Many non-delivery scammers, especially those who receive only partial payment, employ the use of fake shipping companies to attempt to extract even more money from you. The fake shipping company could be another scammer or the same one. These “shipping companies” are mere websites, just like the fake “non-delivery” companies and the same rules apply. The scammers will pretend to ship your goods, sending you official looking manifests, bills of laden, shipping invoices,etc. However, they will always be a glitch. They will claim that the goods are stuck in some port and require additional, unanticipated custom duties or fees or make up a myriad of other reasons to charge you more money. Of course, if you pay any of these phony fees, another “snafu” will develop and the request for more fees will will continue until your funds are exhausted or you realize you are being scammed. Any request for additional fees from a “shipping company” is a clear indication that you are dealing with scammers.

Romance Scams

Many romance scammers will ask a victim to help them ship items. They will claims they have valuables which need to be shipped to the victim, either for the victim, as a present, or for the victim to hold for them until they get out of whatever trouble the claim to be in. No package will be delivered. It is just a scam to steal a fake shipping fee from the victim. Visit to learn about romance scams. However, avoiding them is fairly simple, never agree to send money to or pay to ship something for someone you have never met in person!

How to Protect Yourself


The quickest way to see whether a “company” is real is to investigate when their domain was purchased. As indicated in the paragraph above, scammers can do many things to convince you that they are real companies, however, there is no way for them to hide the date on which their domains (and thus their websites and companies) were purchased or registered. That is public knowledge. Domains which were purchased (registered) within a years or two indicate that the company is almost surely fake. Unfortunately, some registers will list the date the domain was first registered (purchased) despite the fact that the domain expired and was taken over by another company or scammer. In those cases, you must look at the updated date to see what date the domain, under new ownership, went into operation. Read Identifying Scammers and Scam Websites! to understand the many ways to identify a scam website including investigating the date the domain was registered or updated.

NEVER, under any circumstances, transact business with a company that does not have its own domain and website. Don’t be fooled by “websites” on B2B networks. The majority of those are scammers who know that if they had a domain and website, the date the domain was registered (purchased) would give them away. Do not accept excuses such as the website is under maintenance etc. My 5 year old niece can create a website in a couple hours.

Free Email Addresses

Do not transact business with unfamilar persons or companies using free email addresses. Free email addresses require no verification whatsoever and one can simply choose any free email address they wish, including ones that contain their “company” name. Read Identifying Scam Email Addresses


There are many anti-scam website that identify and post warnings about scammers, including “non-delivery” scams. Before you decide to take a chance on transacting business with an unfamiliar company, do a complete internet search on everything about it, its website, name, telephone number, email address, principal officers, etc. Including the word “scam” helps to bring up any scam reports first. This is something no business should have to be told to do in the internet age and it is common sense.

Due Diligence

You should hire a due diligence expert if you are going to be dealing with unfamiliar companies. The money you save from not being scammed would easily justify the cost. Here are some articles explaining how you can do your own due diligence. Note that they are hardly exhaustive and are not intended to be a substitute for a professional due diligence expert. Read How to Look Up Company Details Online and Is This Company Genuine...Buyers Guide to Doing Own Due Diligence


If you believe that you are dealing with a legitimate company and even if you ultimately order from a scammer, you can still protect yourself by insisting that your payment be via credit card, letter of credit, an escrow of your own choosing or COD (cash on delivery.) Inasmuch as non-delivery scammers have no real goods, they depend on receiving money in irreversible and untraceable funds before delivery, since, of course, there will be no delivery. When you insist on paying via methods that ensure that, before they can get paid, the goods must be delivered, the scam is defeated since you have recourse.

If you insist on the payment methods described above, many scammers will insist that their credit card processing facilities are down or they do not have the ability to accept payment via the methods you insist upon or their company policies require payment via wire tranfer, or some other excuse. That is an indication that they are scammers because a legitimate company would expect to and be prepared to accept payment by the specified methods. If they insist on payment via wire transfer - do not be cowed or intimidated, save your money, move along, find another company!!!!! Remember the caveat, “If its too good to be true, it seldon is!

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