Advance fee fraud, also called upfront fee fraud, is any scam that, in exchange for a fee:
Promises to send you money, products, or services;
Offers you the opportunity to participate in a special deal;
Asks for your assistance in removing funds from a country in political turmoil; or
Asks for your assistance to help law enforcement catch thieves.
Whatever the scammers call the upfront fees (membership fee, participation fee, administrative or handling fee, taxes, etc.) all have one thing in common: the victims never see their money, or the scammers, again. Advance fee schemes come in many forms. We have provided some examples here. For more information, you can also visit the Federal Trade Commission site and perform a key word search.