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. 

Red flags 

  • Their email has bad grammar or looks generic
  • You are being pressured to complete the transaction
  • They are in a rush and needs the item immediately
  • They have no issue adding extra funds for shipping or costs
  • They do not live in the same town, province, or country and want to buy the item without seeing it

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