In its annual "Top Ten Scams" report, The National Consumers League noted a sharp rise in business/scholarship opportunity schemes in 2009. These scams are also perpetrated via the vaunted upfront fee [source: NCL press release].
In a typical business-opportunity scam, a victim shells out large upfront fees -- masked as "investments," usually in some sort of Internet-based business -- in return for "can't miss" profits that are never realized. By the time the victim gets hip to the scam, his business partner is long gone.
Similarly, scholarship scams guarantee that they can help students land money for school, so long as the student pays for the service up front. According to the Better Business Bureau, the assistance provided is usually worth little or nothing. "Fraudulent scholarship search services will promise to help you maximize your eligibility for financial aid at a cost of several hundred to several thousand dollars. Some services take your money and never look for anything on your behalf; others provide a list of scholarships for which your child is not eligible [source: BBB]."
For more on scams and related topics, take a look at the links on the next page.