September 17, 2021

Ask Consumer Ed: Overpayment scams | News

Dear Consumer Ed:

I posted an item for sale online and received an email from an interested buyer, saying he wanted to send me a certified check. He said the check will cover the cost of the item plus the expense incurred by the person who will pick up the item on his behalf. I am being asked to deposit the check and then wire a portion to the person picking up the item. Do you think this is a scam?

Consumer Ed says:

This sounds like a classic check overpayment scam. Scammers often pose as potential buyers and come up with a reason to pay you more than the sales price. They then send you a check for the higher amount and ask you to wire part of the money back to the “buyer” or his associate. They often try to lend credibility to the scam by printing the words “Cashier’s Check” or “Certified”…

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