Is this a scam? or not

so I received to my work e-mail address the following e-mail:

Sorry my email should have read. Mr Joseph Banda



On Fri, 7 Dec 2018, 08:24 Omar Idriss <[e-mail address] wrote:

Dear Ms Carter

I found a wallet belonging to a Mr Joseph Bamba on a 430 bus going to fulham yesterday. It had your card in and i thought you may be able to send him this email or give him my phone number, so i can return the wallet safely to him.



Omar Idriss

[mobile phone no.]


er....well its pretty simple isnt it



Do you know a Joseph Banda? 

No, as per my post above, I don't know "Joseph Banda" from Adam.

Slightly odd that the only useful info in ones wallet would be the card of someone else. 


If you get that bus I'd say you have a Somalian stalker.

I do not get the 430.


The main buses that I use are the 14 and 414 if it is too rainy to walk to work. 

'Oh Jo will be so pleased. He's on shift today but I'll ask him to get in touch with you. He's a police officer so quite embarrassing for him lol. Can you give me your number and I'll have him call you'.

but if it is a scam, I don't know what it would achieve:

"Oh, hi Omar, soz - I don't know this chap.  Suggest that you hand the wallet into the police"

Makes me wonder why Omar didn't just ask you out.  Maybe he is shy.  And a billionaire.

mobile number ,plus genuine bus route etc starts to build a more reasonable picture to me.


Emailing back to say you dont know the person seems fine to me?



I would be curious enough to email him back to say you don't know this person, just to see where it leads. I wouldn't call his mobile though.

Have you put the phone number into Google to see what comes up? Ditto the email address

PP would end up date drugged and bummed, handcuffed and bound in the back of a cargo plane to west Africa tho.

Well why should this Friday be any different from the usual?

Maybe he'll offer to transfer some cash that was in the wallet to your account for your assistance and will just need your name, account number and sort code...

well, I have replied out of curiosity 

Dear Mr Idriss,

I am afraid that I don’t know this gentleman at all, so I cannot help.

Best wishes,






How does he know it’s the wallet of Mr Joseph Banda if the only useful information in there is someone else’s business card?  Does Mr Joseph Banda’s mum sew nametapes into all his possessions?  Pretty big clue how to get a message to him if you’ve got his name off, say, his bank card.  

For that reason I’d say it was a scam of some kind but struggling to see what the end game is.

reckon they will move the conversation on to something they want

apparently there's some evidence you feel better disposed towards someone you have helped with something? start them off small the bam

My boss got me to print out his personal parking application form.  I had a bit of a passive aggressive snark at that.

Pumpkin his bank is hardly going to pass on a message if you call them so not sure what use having his name from a bank card is unless it's an unusual name you can easily find online or social media to contact them.

I suspect as I said above it's something where they'll move on to suggesting there is a reward to be paid for your assistance so they'll need your bank details.

Relatively well known entry into a scam, although the actual scam involved will vary.

Intention is to:

a. get you to engage with them;

b. build a sense of trust;

c. get more information about you.

Once they have that, they can move onto "oh, what a convenient coincidence, you are a lawyer dealing with x, I need a lawyer dealing with x, can you please assist me with [insert madcap money laundering/fraud scheme].  Or it may be more targeted than that, depending on where they got your email from.  

Don't engage.  There was no wallet, no business card, there was just a trawl through t'interwebs to find your email.

it might be that he wallet was stolen from mr banda, emptied of cash and cards and discarded on the bus. So, genuine.

It might also have been sh@t out by the wallet unicorn, who rides on buses collecting used tickets to build a bridge over a rainbow.

Neither scenario is particularly likely.

SummerSails - when Mr Pumpkin found a wallet, he phoned the bank of the person whose cards were in it and they did just that.  He met her, returned the wallet, and we got a box of Quality Street out of it.  

What others said. It's likely to be a scam that is intended to make an introduction in a believable way so that your guard is down when they make their next move. 


The basic opening premise is to establish his/ her trustworthiness as a person trying to return lost goods. 

Also.. cynical snort at the use of the name 'idriss' ...



ha!  I have been busy.  

So no reply to my e-mailing saying that I don't know this Joseph Banda, so perhaps Joe was someone I met at one of these law shindigs and Idriss an actual Good Samaritan.