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Overpayment Scam

Overpayment scams work by getting you to ‘refund’ a scammer who has sent you too much money for an item you are selling. If you are selling something online, as a business or through classifieds ads, you may be targeted by an overpayment scam. The scammer will contact you, make you an offer (often quite generous) then make payment through credit card or cheque. They will be for an amount that is greater than the agreed price. The scammer will contact you with an apology for the overpayment, offering a fake excuse. The scammer might tell you that the extra money was included to cover agent’s fees or extra shipping costs. Or they may just say they simply made a mistake when writing the cheque. The scammer will then ask you to refund the excess amount or they will ask for you to forward the amount through to a third party. They will ask for this through an online banking transfer, pre-loaded money card, or a wire transfer such as Western Union. You then discover that their cheque has bounced or the credit card had been a stolen or fake card.
Click the play button below to watch a video example:
Click here to play the YouTube Video for this Senior Fraud Alert Scam Lesson
The first step is to identify the fraud. In the video above, were you able to hear the clues in the story and detect the Overpayment Scam? The next step is to prevent the scammer from victimizing you or others. If you encounter a similar situation, use these tools to protect yourself from this type of fraud.
Overpayment Scam Clues
  • The company will already have what information they need if you overpaid. They don’t need more details from you. This is a sure sign it is a fraud
  • Sometimes when a scammer is trying to “return” your money, they claim they have put too much in your account, and they ask you to return the overpayment to them.

    If they claim they overpaid you, ask them to send a checque.
Overpayment Scam Defence
  • Ignore overpayment emails and don’t click on them.
  • Never give them access to your banking information.
  • If you think you might have overpaid, go to the company’s website and check your account. Do not click on a link within the scammer’s email. Or call the company directly and ask them. Always check first. .
Now it’s your turn!


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