Scam Alert of the Week: Overpayment Scams

Local4 News at 6
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 8:46 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - This week’s Local4 Scam Alert of the Week deals with the virtual marketplace, especially as kids head back to school.

Many parents are looking to both sell and buy items that may help their kiddos this fall, but the Better Business Bureau is warning of what they call overpayment scams. Because of the high-time for online shopping, many scammers purposely offer you more money for the item you’re trying to sell in an attempt to give you an offer you can’t refuse.

Josh Planos, the public relations director for the BBB says that should be a red flag.

”If the offer is too good to be true, it most certainly is,” he said. “All too often we see this on Facebook marketplace, but this does apply to other services as well. It might apply to clothes, to vehicles, to electronics or other items. You might be contacted by someone who seems trustworthy, they might seem nice.”

What makes this scam particularly unique, is the lengths at which the scammer will go to catch you off guard.

”Once you’re overpaid, the buyer will ask for the extra funds back, and after you’ve returned the money, you’ll likely find that the initial payment was false,” Planos said. “Either they sent over a check that bounced or the buyer’s online payment was denied, so you lose out on both the money you returned along with the item you sold.”

There are many ways to avoid this type of scam according to Planos, but he said if you have to go with just one, it’s a simple call.

”Don’t ship an item before you receive a payment,” he said. “Make sure any payments you receive are legitimate and that they register in your account before you ship an item to the buyer. If you ship before they pay, you’ll have no way to get your item back. You’ll be out both in this situation.”

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