Over Pay Check Scam: You Can Lose More Than Your Wallet

This next scam could catch anyone by surprise. It will also seem like a really innocent exchange, but with dire consequences. Let’s say you are on a classifieds style website like Craigslist.org and you want to sell an item. You may have interest in your particular item with some one asking you how much is it for? You respond and quote them a price and you get another response about how excited they are to pay you and how they just need your information before sending out a check. Of course, you are extremely excited about selling your item and you give them the courtesy of taking a check from them. So you give them your info and within a couple of days you receive a check for a lot more than the amount agreed upon.

Now, here comes the part where these predators take advantage of the inherent good nature of the willing populace. Let’s say you sold your item for $150, now, you would get a check for say, $1,500. You think “Ok, the guy added an extra zero; happens to the best of us.” So, in a “panic” they contact you about how they gave you too much money and how you need to wire them money immediately. The average unsuspecting person would deposit the check and go to the post office and mail out a money order for the extra amount. In your head you think everything is even, but the reality is that the initial check you got is fraudulent or will definitely bounce. It would be from some made up bank in some made up town that you have never heard of. But, before you know it you would fall prey to this Over Pay Check Scam and be out a hefty sum of money, as well as more fees from your local bank.

You can avoid all of this by simply not accepting personal checks from people you meet online, no matter how badly you want to sell your merchandise. You should only accept Money Orders, or use a service like PayPal that protects the interests of sellers.  The personal check has been the downfall of many a business and if you are an inexperienced seller you would fall prey to the scheme quite easily. It would be near impossible to track down the person that sent you this fraudulent check. Just keep your eyes open and soldier on.

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