Overpayment Scams

Overpayment scams

If you’re selling an item and the buyer pays you, by cheque, far more than the asking price “by accident” and asks you to return the money, you’re likely a target of an overpayment scam. 


How to protect yourself

  • Immediately end a transaction with anyone who overpays you
  • Cancel any order requesting a portion of the payment to be refunded
  • Never send money to get money
  • Wait for the cheque to clear before sending any merchandise in the mail
  • Only accept cash, certified cheque, or e-transfer as payment
  • Question anything that makes you feel suspicious – especially if it seems too good to be true
  • Sell locally if possible. Ask questions if the buyer is not local or wants to pay extra for shipping
  • Meet in a public, safe place to complete an exchange

Red flags

  • The email to purchase the merchandise has bad grammar or looks generic
  • You are being pressured or rushed to complete the transaction
  • The fraudster has no issue adding extra funds for shipping or they made a mistake and overpaid you
  • They do not live near you and want to purchase the item without even seeing it