A foreign money offer involves an offer or request for assistance in the transfer of a large sum of money from an international country. The offer may appear to come from a lawyer or law office advising the victim of an inheritance of a sum of money. The potential victim must pay one or more advance fees before the money can be released. The money or inheritance is fictitious and the victim never receives the money promised. This is sometimes referred to as Nigerian, 419 or West African fraud. Other variations can involve contracts for work completed in foreign country, black money and fund transfer schemes.

Once communication is established, scammers may use telephone and instant messaging or social networking sites to continue to build a rapport with the intended victims. These schemes can be carried out over a long period of time.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or http://www.antifraudcentre.ca. Fraud: Recognize It, Report It, Stop It.

How to Protect Yourself

Beware of unsolicited emails seeking assistance in transferring funds out of a foreign country or offering an inheritance.

Watch for spelling and formatting errors in the supposed financial institution website.

Go with your gut. If an email seems fishy it probably is.

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