Advanced fee fraud is a type of fraud that typically involves promising the victim a significant share in a large sum of money in return for a small upfront payment. There are a number of ways this type of fraud can be carried, common types of advanced fee fraud are:
- Lottery, prize draw or sweepstake scams: this is where the victim of fraud is contacted about a large prize that they have won and are asked to pay an administration fee to cover the cost of the claiming process.
- Inheritance fraud: where the victim has been contacted about obtaining a big inheritance pay out from a distant relative and is asked to cover some legal costs beforehand.
- Career opportunity fraud: this is where bogus companies pose as publishers, invention promotion and patent companies or model and casting agencies, all promising to launch a person’s career.
- Loan fraud: this is where the victim has replied to an advert for a fast loan. They will have their application approved regardless of their credit history and asked to pay an upfront fee to cover insurance for the loan.
- Business opportunity fraud: where the victim is asked to pay an advanced fee before starting a purportedly profitable business opportunity
- Dating or romance fraud: this is where the victim is contacted by someone purporting to want to be in a relationship with them and then asking for money.
- Vehicle matching scams: when a fraudster cold calls someone who has just placed an advert to sell their car and asks for an upfront fee which they say is refundable if the car isn’t sold.