Scams are difficult to detect until the victim has parted with their money and the offender is far away. Sometimes scams are not matters that police investigate, however we co-operate with other agencies to try to minimise their harm. Scammers use all manner of approaches and they can be very convincing. Some methods they use could be via a romance, loneliness, lottery, inheritance, or they may use a convincing plea for assistance.

In all of these ways scammers can and do appeal to a person’s good nature in order to enrich themselves and defraud the victim. Scammers have no problem deceiving people nor do they care what financial hardship they cause to their victim therefore the cost to society is quite high.

Today, by way of example, there are hundreds of fake emails in circulation that offers rich rewards to recipients who have “won a lottery” or who are asked to “help your family member claim their huge inheritance” or to invest in “African Building Propositions”. Notably, the recipient did not ever enter that lottery, or won’t know the relative who has supposed passed on.

For the most part this is a form of scamming that victimises many people. It is unsolicited and if you respond, an offender will ask that you start sending money to ensure your huge payoff. The money asked of you will be small to start with, and then get larger and larger as time goes on. These people will invent dozens of reasons why you should keep sending them money and you most often will see no reward.

This is known as “Advance Fee Fraud”. Do not send money to the sender of this email.

Did you get a letter from the Fraud Squad? Unsure what it is about?

We work closely with the ACCC and other government agencies. We send letters to people who we believe may fall into a high-risk category of becoming an Advance Fee Fraud victim. We’re sending the letter to advise you of the risks and to not alarm you.

Advance Fee Fraud Letter

If you are the victim of a scam there is little that we can do to recover your money however the names of the scammers will be passed to other organisations who may be able to help. We furthermore advise you to stop sending money immediately. If you have been victimised, please don’t be embarrassed! Literally hundreds of other people have been scammed in similar ways. It is important to put this to one side and report the matter via the on-line ACCC web-site.

ACCC Scamwatch Scam Reporting Form

Visit the Advance Fee Fraud section of the Types of Fraud page find out more.