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Southside Bank

Southside Bank

Overpayment Scams

Every consumer should be aware that Internet fraud is on the rise and should take precautions when purchasing or selling on the internet. In each of the scenarios counterfeit checks are sent and good money is wired out leaving the customer at a loss. These are current examples of the types of scams that are being played out upon unsuspecting people.

Scenario 1  - Online Sale Scam

The victim has an item for sale on a public forum. A prospective buyer makes contact with the seller claiming they want to purchase the item. The seller receives a check in the mail for more than the asking price. The buyer claims he made the check payable for the wrong amount by mistake or claims the funds are to pay for shipping. The victim is instructed to deposit the check and send the difference via funds transfer, money order or prepaid cards or give to the shipper directly when they pick up the item. Days later the check  is returned counterfeit and the seller is out the difference and no longer has possession of the item.

Scenario 2  - Lottery/Sweepstakes Scam

The victim receives a certified mailing with a letter claiming you they are the winner of a lottery or a sweepstakes. Enclosed with the letter is a check to pay taxes or fees on the winnings.  The victim is instructed to deposit the check and send the proceeds via funds transfer, money order or prepaid cards. Days later the check is returned counterfeit and the victim is out the amount of the check.

Scenario 3  - Work From Home Scam

The victim is searching the Internet for job opportunities when they come upon a website claiming they can work from home as a "bookkeeper"  or a “mystery shopper." To make the job appear more legitimate the business will send employment contracts and other documentation. Shortly after the victim is employed the company sends a check with instructions to deposit the check, keep a percentage of the money, send the remainder via funds transfer, money order or prepaid cards back to them. Days later the check is returned counterfeit and the victim is out the amount of the check.

Scenario 4  - Inheritance Scam

A victim is contacted via social media, email or mail from someone claiming that a relative overseas has left them a large inheritance. In order to get the inheritance they must pay taxes.  To assist the victim with the tax payment a check is mailed with instructions to deposit the check and send the funds via funds tranfers, money order or prepaid card. Days later the check is returned counterfeit and the victim is out the amount of the check. 

How can I protect myself?