Again, there will be the endless requirements for fees to register, to claim the prize, to pay a lawyer or the courier company delivering the winnings and so on, until the victim has given up or run out of money.The scammer will pretend that it is a random lottery, often based on email addresses, to get round the fact that you cannot win a lottery you have never entered.

The scammer will contact you out of the blue by email, letter, text message or through social media.

The scammer will tell you an elaborate story about large amounts of their money trapped in banks during events such as civil wars or coups, often in countries currently in the news.

There are many different varieties of internet fraud, and we have set out some of the more common formats below and in our specific scams section.

If you think you may have been scammed but cannot find something here relating to your specific circumstances, please do not assume that you are safe.

Legitimate lottery sites, names and logos are often stolen or copied and used to bolster the pretence.

There are many variations on check scams and we have more information in our specific scams section.

Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot.

We also provide guidance on protecting yourself from scams and where to get help.

We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page.

This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible.

These scams are often known as 'Nigerian 419' scams because the first wave of them came from Nigeria.