HOW TO AVOID OVERPAYMENT SCAMS

If you are selling something online, or through an ad, you may be targeted by an overpayment scam. Overpayment scams occur when someone sends you too much money, then requests a refund for the excess amount. Here are 6 tips to help you spot and avoid being a victim of an overpayment scam.
 
  • Do not accept an overpayment. If you receive a check or payment for more than the agreed sale amount, send it back or cancel the order and ask for another payment with the correct amount.
  • Do not ship any item or return any funds until you are sure the payment is valid. Consider a delayed refund policy or reputable escrow service to hold funds until you are sure that the payment is legitimate.
  • Guard your private information. Never mail a check with your address and/or account number on it. Always return funds through a secure system.
  • Only use secure payment methods you are familiar with. Consider only accepting credit card payments through trusted, secure payment systems, such as PayPal, Apple Pay or Google Pay.
  • Don’t use nearly untraceable payment or delivery methods. Once an online banking transfer, gift card or wire is sent, you have no recourse if the payment is fraudulent.
  • Keep it simple, and consult help early. If using an auction or reseller site, such as eBay or Amazon.com, follow their fraud department policies.
Need to report a scam?
Federal Trade Commission
National Association of Attorneys General
 
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