GFA Federal Credit Union

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  • Feb 16, 2022

Tech Talk with Jeff - A Different Type of Check Fraud

There is a common scam out there that many people are not aware of. It takes several forms, but the general approach used involves the scammer sending someone a check for more money than they owe that person. The scammer then tells the victim they put the wrong amount on the check and to please send them the overpaid amount. By the time everything clears, it becomes obvious it was a scam when the original payment bounces and the victim is out the money sent to the scammer.

We have seen cases where people have sold something online for, let’s say, $500. The buyer sends the seller a check for $2,000. When the seller reaches back out about the overpayment the buyer says oops, I made a mistake, please send me back the difference in the payment. The seller sends the money out and several days later the seller’s financial institution notifies them that the check they deposited from the buyer has bounced. Painful.

This type of a scam is used a lot and needs to be watched for in its various forms. You never want to be sending anyone money until you know that you actually have the funds and they have completely cleared. This is a case of the scammer taking advantage of the float built into the banking systems where it can be a few days before the funds are fully cleared. 

In general, if someone has sent you more than you asked for, it is probably a scam and the check should be rejected by you.

Be aware and be safe!

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