Never accept a cheque for more than your selling priceFriday, October 19, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
(Sault Ste. Marie, ON) – Sault Ste. Marie OPP has received reports from local residents concerning the following:
Overpayment scams is the type of fraud where the person receiving the cheque is actually owed money for goods sold. These fraudsters query “for sale” ads in local on-line classified sections. They then contact the buyer by email advising they are interested in the product.
In the two cases reported to the OPP the buyer advises he is from the United Kingdom.
Once a deal is made and the product sold, the seller receives a counterfeit personal cheque from the buyer in an amount in excess of the amount owed; is asked to deposit the cheque and wire the excess funds immediately back to the buyer. The deposited cheque is subsequently returned from the seller’s bank as counterfeit and charged back to the seller's account.
In the two separate cases reported to OPP the cheques were sent to the sellers by either mail or courier in the form of American Traveler’s Cheques and the currency dollar amount of up to four times the purchase price, was in euros (see photo).
Anyone selling goods should be suspicious of any cheque, especially if it is for more than the agreed selling price. Consider an alternative method of payment, such as an escrow service or online payment service. Talk to your bank about the safest way to receive funds from overseas.
To protect yourself against this sort of scam, never agree to a deal in which the payer wishes to issue an amount for more than the agreed price and expects you to reimburse the balance. The scammers use a variety of excuses to explain the overpayment, but any such excuse should be treated with the utmost suspicion.
In order to avoid overpayment scams, remember the following general words of advice:
- Know who you are dealing with; independently confirm your buyer's name, street address, and telephone number;
- Never accept a cheque for more than your selling price;
- Never agree to wire back funds to a buyer. A legitimate buyer will not pressure you to do so, and you have limited recourse if there is a problem with a wire transfer;
For more information on these types of scams visit www.antifraudcentre.ca
If you have any information regarding these crimes, or any other crime, call Crime Stoppers at 705-942-7867 or 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), submit an e-tip from the Crime Stoppers website at www.saultcrimestoppers.com or text keyword SSM with your tip to 274637.