Internet scams involving paying an advance fee are associated with Accra, the capital of Ghana. These are known around the world as "419" fraud because the Nigerian penal code contains its fraud provisions in Section 419.
Advance fee fraud generally consists of one of these nine types of fraudulent business proposals: real estate purchase, disbursement of funds from a will, contract fraud, funds transfer for over-invoiced contracts, hard currency conversion, sale of gold at cheap prices, sale of crude oil below market prices, advance fees to let an American company receive valuable tender or advance fees to nail down a job offer.
As of 2015, the most successful type of case is the scam for transferring funds. Typically, an individual receives a letter in the mail from a person purporting to be a high-level civil servant. The impostor tells the recipient that he is looking for a reputable overseas person or company to receive between $10 million and $60 million that the government paid in excess of an agreed contract amount. The victim is asked to send company letterheads and pro forma invoicing to demonstrate completion of the contract. Eventually, the swindler asks the victim to pay a large amount of money to keep the deal alive. The use of government letterheads by the swindler is often convincing enough to get this type of fraud off the ground.