Advance Fee Fraud

In this increasingly common scam, you receive an email or letter offering you an enormous sum of money in exchange for your assistance in getting the money out of a foreign country.  The fraudsters ask for your bank account information so that they can deposit money into your account, but instead they empty your account.  Or, they ask you to send money to them in order to cover the cost of the transfer.

The story behind this scam is usually based upon some type of misfortune in a foreign country, like the overthrow of a government that has resulted in a huge sum of money being held by someone who needs to transfer the money to another country but needs a recipient with a bank account to receive the money.  A share of the money is offered to anyone willing to help with the transfer.

In another typical scenario, the letter or email that you receive is allegedly from a government official, accountant or banker, or from the relative of a deceased or deposed politician.  It may be in the form of a letter that is marked ‘Urgent’ or ‘Strictly Confidential’.  Like all letter scams, it offers to share an enormous sum of money with you if you allow the money to be transferred to your bank account.

Another form of the letter scam is the story of a wealthy person in a foreign country who is terminally ill and doesn’t want his relatives to squander his wealth.  This person has no heir and wants to keep the money away from those who would take it following his death.  The person may even claim to be deeply religious and looking for someone to accept the money and distribute it to charities, after of course taking a share for him or herself.

Anyone who is gullible enough to reply to one of these letters by sending personal and banking information will be sent fake documents such as banks statements that are supposed to prove that the money is real and is being sent to you. The money does not exist and you will never see it!

This is a scam that has been operating for a considerable length of time, which suggest that it has proven to be successful for its perpetrators.  The letter scam often originates from parts of Africa, although it has been known to have other sources as well, as other scammers try to take advantage of what they see as a lucrative moneymaker.  Similar versions of this scam have appeared that have originated from the USA.

Most frequently this scam arrives in the form of an email.  These emails fall under the category of ‘phishing’ emails and should be reported whenever possible.  Some email providers such as Hotmail have a function that allows you to report phishing emails to assist authorities in their efforts to stop them.

Leave a Comment

10 comments… add one
  • sally 27 March, 1:32 am

    Is this spam? from sc bn []
    Atten: Dear Sally Robinson ,

    Many many thanks for your kind email,

    This is to informed you that your over-dued fund payment amounting $10.5M has being resolved to be deliver to you at your door step by me personally as a deiplomatic agent only that i will require you send to me right away your direct phone number, Your delivery address.

    However, Bear in your mind fully well that this is very very real and $100 risk free.

    I will need you act fast reply back to here urgently in order to enable me secure for the require back up documents and also detail you well on my arrival date.

    Make it fast and God bless,
    Waiting to hear from you urgently,

    Dr. Frank Williams

  • JCash 4 March, 12:31 pm

    There is another link to this man on the site.

    This is the one to the Daily Mirror –

    Geoffrey Roy Stevens who was sentenced to six years for advanced fee fraud conning small uk businesses for non-existent DTI loans.

    He co-owns a ‘business rates appeal’ company called Harrison Black & Partners with fake offices in Bristol.

    If you are looking for a business rating specialist, read the blog, and dont hire Harrison Black & Partners who appear to be a sole tradership and not a registered partnership, and has all of the hallmarks of a scam. Add Geoffrey Roy Stevens to the mix, and expect advance fees and sharp practice as an absolute minimum.

  • kathleen farrell 31 May, 6:05 pm

    I have been asked to pay £50 cash to receive £3000 bank charges that a company have said they received on my behalf. They left two phone numbers 02070991345/02088199747 and a customer number T110036. I am unsure if this a scam. I am receiving chemotherapy at the minute for breast cancer and im too unwell to go to pay the £50 but they said this is my last chance to claim it back. Could you please help because I cant afford to lose £50 if this is a scam. Thankyou

  • paul mcglone 31 August, 2:52 pm

    i was rececently called by a ompany call saying that i could have a loan of £3000 for 4 yrs and all i had to do was to pay £100 in which i was to obtain a ukash voucher for that amount they called to take the payment then advised me they needed another £250 ukash they called again for another £250 ukash saying that this would be the last payment and i would recieve the payment i then recieved a call saying that they required another £300 ukash and i had their word on it that this would be the last ( surprise surprise ) they then called to say they cant pay my loan but i could go to the shop and get another ukash for £350 as they would send a solicitor with the money to my door at this point i was starting to get angry as they have fleeced me of £800 in 1 day i am totally irate regarding this matter would it be possible to help me regarding this matter
    paul mcglone

  • Sean w 25 February, 10:20 pm

    I think you only have ur self to blame wat kind of an idiot pays £800 for a £3000 loan infact why pay them anything and why you keep paying them if they keep telling you its the last time sorry but you were taken for a mug you seem like an easy target and guliable can pay me £800 amd il promise to deliver some money to you ? Lol

  • Gordon Best 22 August, 4:18 pm

    I am told by email that Adrian Bayford the lotto 148 millionaire would like to donate to me personally 1.5 million. all I have to do is send my full contact details including my bank details together with a small admin fee via email. Not even a secure site. Needless to say I am not falling for that. But who should this scam be reported to? and shouldn’t the real My Adrian Bayford be advised that scammers are using his name.

  • pam chambers 29 August, 9:25 am

    i was scamed by a company called Wentworth direct finance they said they could give me a loan of 12000 they needed a deposit of 200 then i needed to pay 360 to increase my credit rateing the next thing was a transfer fee of360 they got 880 out of me

  • dman 14 March, 8:34 pm

    I have a question about paypal. I recently logged on to an online shoe site called whole cheap nike shoes. everything looked legit but when it came down to paying with debit card on top of screen it had the name Parmet Jonathan L. . that’s not me but the shipping address and billing address had my correct info. of course I did not pay but why is that name their and should I try it anyways.

  • nosie 14 May, 9:33 pm

    Some guy I met on Facebook said he shipped a parcel for me from USA TO SA but this parcel in order to get it delivered to me I have to pay local delivery fee which was R3100 and the parcel will be delivered. I did pay that amount but parcel force gave me phone number and pin to transfer the money at spar. After that parcel force called me again the day they were supposed to deliver and told me that their custume officers scanned the parcel and found money inside it so in order for me to get that money and parcel I have to give them my bank details so that they transfer that money into my account before the parcel can be delivered. I gave them but they asked for some more money instead of doing the transfer I paid it too and it was R6720 after that they said in order for them to process the transfer I need to pay another R1500 for authorization stamp. But I didn’t pay that I told them to give back my money they refused. Now I need your help is this a fruad or what? I’m scared please help

  • Flavio Da Costa 12 December, 12:51 pm = Scam

    About 4 months ago I got a call from a “representative” from; the “representative” offered me the best deal for S.E.O. service that I could imagine. For $100 a month they would do full S.E.O. service for my website and get me on the first page on Google.

    After paying $100, they offered me 3 months service for $250 and results or money back guaranteed. After I made the payment, they kept calling me and offering me “extras” to get better results, and I left it clear that I wouldn’t spend any more money until I see some results (website on the first page on Google).

    They stopped contacting and I was obligated to call them to ask for reports of work that they were supposed to do; they had the guts to send me the same report over and over again in a different arrangement.

    I didn’t have no choice, but hire a serious S.E.O. company and I found out that they didn’t do any work at all (I kinda was expecting that).I called in “California” (I think there is a city in India called California) and the Indian company didn’t refund me the money.

    I had to cancel my bank card to avoid further surprises, and from now on, I will never use a (foreigner) company again without recommendation; if they take your money and don’t deliver the service, there isn’t much that we can do.

    Obs.: One month after cancelling the services, Getvisibleweb tried to take money from my account; since I cancelled my cards they were NOT able to take more money from me. Getvisibleweb sent me an email asking me to amend my banking details so they could take another payment.