Trading Standards Alert – Upfront Payment Scams

Think Carefully before You Pay – Avoid Advance Fee Scams

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

There are a huge variety of such scams, some common examples are:

  • Career opportunity scams happen when people respond to job adverts posted by fraudsters. They start with a consultation but then require an upfront fee. Examples are bogus publishers, model and casting agencies all promising to launch a person’s career.
  • Romance scams where fraudsters create a fake persona who builds a relationship with their victim over time. Once they are trusted they will make emotive requests for money from their victim claiming it is to pay for medical care, or visa and travel costs to visit the victim, etc. They will always find excuses not to meet the victim in person, but will maintain the relationship and continue to make requests for money from them.
  • Fraud recovery scams are when someone who has been a victim of fraud in the past is contacted again by scammers. They pretend to be the police or a government agency that can help recover the money that was lost in the first scam, but they the victim to pay a fee to get it back, for example claiming that it is tax to be paid to HMRC before the money can be refunded to the victim.
  • Loan scams happen when a victim is asked to pay an upfront fee for a loan with the guarantee that it will be approved whatever their credit history; however, they must pay an upfront fee to cover insurance for the loan. But once paid, the scammers cease communication and the loan is never received.
  • Rental fraud happens when would-be tenants are tricked into paying an upfront fee to rent a property. The property doesn’t exist, is already let, or has been apparently rented out to multiple victims at the same time. The victim loses the upfront fee they have paid and fails to secure the property.

For advice on identifying and avoiding advance fee scams, go to:

You can find out more about scams by going to: