An upfront payment scam is a scam which asks you to send money upfront for a product or ‘reward’ later. The ‘reward’ may be in the form of a pre-approved loan or credit card application, a prize, a holiday or a cut of a profit from some activity.
You might be asked to provide your bank account details to the scammer or to pay fees to gain access to what the scammer is offering.. If you send money to these scammers you may find that you receive nothing in return, or that you don’t get what you expected.
If you have been offered a pre-approved credit card, loan application or a fabulous prize or holiday, delete the email, throw away the letter or say no. Banks and credit unions will only approve you for a credit card if you meet their criteria. No one can guarantee these approvals in exchange for a fee.
If you are interested in the offer, you should check to see if there are any conditions attached to the offer or other fine print that may contain nasty surprises. You can also ask your local fair trading agency if they think the offer sounds genuine.
You should NEVER give out your personal or bank account details to somebody you don’t know. Remember that no legitimate credit card or loan provider will ask you to pay a fee to guarantee approval. Don’t let the fact that an offer sounds enticing or genuine trick you.
If you think the offer may be genuine, make sure you seek the advice of an independent professional such as a lawyer, accountant or financial planner before committing any money.
If you have received an upfront payment scam, or if you have sent money to one and you now realise it is a scam, you can report it through the SCAMwatch website. You should also spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues to protect them.