Cheque overpayment scam
This is a scam where a buyer, a prospective tenant or even an employer will send you a cheque that is worth more than the value of the items/rent/job. Once you have received the cheque they will then ask you for the surplus amount to be returned to them, or even to a third party. Sometimes they request this money be sent back in order to ‘pay for shipping’, or for another reason. The cheque will clear into your bank account initially, however, a few weeks later it will be refused. Then, once it has been refused, the bank or building society will take back the full cheque amount out of your account, which will leave you without both the cheque money and any money that you passed on to make up the difference.
People requesting to use money transfer services like MoneyGram or Western Union
These services are only intended to be used between friends or family members, so if a stranger is suggesting them to you, you should be wary. Scammers and fraudsters will try and trick people into the use of these services. Sometimes they will do this by asking you to prove that you have funds by transferring money to a friend using one of these services. Then they will ask you to show them the receipt. All they need is the tracking number from your receipt and they will be able to collect your money with ease.
Payment protection offers
If you receive any emails that are claiming to be from well known sites, and are offering you buyer protection or an online payment system then you should be wary. These can be fake and are known as ‘spoof’ or ‘phishing’ emails. If you do receive an email from a company offering you a payment or protection service, you should always go directly to the company’s website to look for details of the service.
These are very easily avoided, as they are obvious scams. You will get an email that asks for your help to take money out of a country. They will tell you that you will be paid a commission for your help and eventually, they will ask you for money to help them take their large amount of money out of the selected country. Once you pay them, you will never hear from them again.
Brokerage and importing payments
If a seller is claiming that there are brokerage fees and import duties or any other similar fees to be paid, make sure that you don’t pay them. If you do pay these, then there is a large chance that you may never get the product you have ordered and you will lose any money you have paid.
Emails asking for your personal details (log in details, passwords, credit card details etc)
If you receive any emails from any company, asking you to reply or follow a link handing over any personal information, do not do what it says. These emails are a scam and are another example of ‘spoof’ or ‘phishing’ emails. If you receive any emails that are urgently requesting you to send over any information, you should be very wary. Scammers can easily fake web-pages to make their emails look more authentic.
Avoid fake escrow sites
If a buyer or seller, or anyone else with whom you need to make a transaction, suggests using an escrow service to complete the handing over of money, be very wary. These sites, though they may look official, are mostly run by fraudsters who will take your money, and won’t send you the product.
Fake working from home opportunities
When receiving an offer to work from home you will need to be very careful as a lot of these are fronts for money laundering. You should avoid any working from home opportunity that involves you receiving cheques and cashing them as payment. You should also avoid any ‘jobs’ that don’t require a face to face interview. Other working from home scams can involve pyramid schemes.