The Overpayment Refund Scam

The basic scam is that something happens and the organisation concerned appears to have overpaid you significantly. There is some story as to how this could have happened and usually someone calling you about it who is worried over losing their job if the over payment is not rectified.

That leads you into paying them the amount of the overpayment and then their payment will disappear and you will out of pocket by hundreds or thousands of pounds.

For example :-

Joanna finally got her broadband working after 3 weeks of problems.  She was told there would be monetary compensation.

A caller (claiming to be from BT) then called about paying the compensation. Details were sorted out and she believed the payment would be made.

Then she received another  call (claiming to be from BT) that said that the payment had been made but he had made a mistake and overpaid by £700. He then sent her an email to prove the overpayment and he asked her to repay the money to a specific account ASAP so he didn’t lose his job.

She did this and then it turned out that no compensation payment had ever been made.

The most common form of this scam is more personal and involves selling a car. The scammer agrees to the purchase and apparently pays but pays too much then seeks to get the overpayment back from you.  The scammer may buy sight unseen and have some bogus reason for this and the apparent urgency of the purchase.

Payment is usually by credit card which then turns out to be stolen or cheque. A UK cheque will appear to have cleared after 4 working days but it is still possible for it to bounce until after the 6th working day.

If you receive a cheque or card payment for something  that is more than the agreed amount of money, do not accept it – return the payment and ask for the correct amount.

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