Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March Means Fraud Prevention Month

I posted the following article 4 years ago but it is a scam that keeps showing up, so I thought it would be worth posting again.

Two years ago I posted an article on our blog about how crooks are using classified ads and other websites to perpetrate a scam that can be called "Overpayment."  The scam artist says he will buy your $2,000 stereo from you based on the ad he has seen in the newspaper or online.  He sends a cheque for $4,000.  You, being the honest person you are, e-mail him saying that he overpaid.  The scam artist replies that it was his secretary's fault and says it would be easier if you just deposit the cheque and than mail a money order for the difference back to him, even offering $100 as a reward for your honesty.

You deposit his cheque, take out the $1,900 as a money order and mail it off.  A day or two later you find out that his cheque was fake and that it has bounced, while the money you sent from your account as a money order is very real.  This overpayment scam has grown and is being used all over the country, including targeting people in the Rocky Region.  It is generally best to meet the buyer/seller in person so you can see the goods or the money you will be getting.

A new version of the scam

There is a slightly modified version of this scam going around this past year.  It preys on people who are looking for work.  It goes like this: