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Overpayment Scam

Overpayment Scams

Don't Become A Victim


“Check overpayment” scams target consumers selling cars or other valuable items through classified ads or online auction sites. Unsuspecting sellers get stuck with a big loss when scammers pass off bogus cashier’s checks, corporate checks, or personal checks. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a consumer alert, “Check Overpayment Scams: Seller Beware,” that explains this scam and offers consumers tips on how to protect themselves and their pocketbooks.

According to the FTC, a check overpayment scam begins when a scam artist replies to your classified ad or auction posting and offers to send you a check for more than the amount they owe you. They further instruct you to wire a portion of the money back to them, and they may suggest you keep a portion of the overpayment as compensation for sending the wire. BEWARE: The check eventually bounces, and you’re responsible for the full amount, including what you wired to the scammer.

Typical victims include persons selling something over the Internet, replying to a “work from home” job posting, or being sent “advance winnings” in a bogus sweepstakes.

Often times the check looks legitimate and may fool even your banker!
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