Advance fee frauds

Advance fee fraud is when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise.

Types of advance fee fraud include:

  • Career opportunity scams
  • Clairvoyant or psychic scams
  • Cheque overpayment fraud
  • Dating or romance scams
  • Fraud recovery fraud
  • Impersonation of officials
  • Inheritance fraud
  • Loan scams
  • Lottery, prize draw and sweepstake scams
  • Racing tipster scams
  • Rental fraud
  • West African letter or 419 fraud
  • Work from home and business opportunity scams
  • Vehicle matching scams

If you think you have been a victim of fraud:

Report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting

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A Glossary of terms used in this article:

Advance fee fraud

Any fraud that tricks victims into paying money up front on the false hope of receiving something significant later.