With holiday season picking up, West Shore RCMP say they have received several reports of overpayment scams in the last few days.
According to police, the scam usually follows the following steps:
- You place a legitimate ad to sell an item online via Facebook Marketplace, Used Victoria or something similar
- A buyer will contact you and send you a cheque or a money order for too much money
- The buyer will ask you to cash the cheque, deposit what you are owed for the item and then to send the additional money to a third-party’s account via e-transfer
- Then, once the bank processes the cheque, it is determined to be fraudulent, leaving you out because you’ve sent your own money to them
“We see scams like this year-round and we want the public to be extra cautious around the holiday season when it comes to online buying and selling of goods,” said Cpl. Nancy Saggar West Shore RCMP Media Relations Officer.
West Shore RCMP say they recommend being cautious to avoid falling victim to these scams.
If selling anything online, beware of buyers who send more money than your asking price, refuse money orders or cheques and only accept e-transfers or cash.
Anyone seeking more information on how to avoid online scams and protect yourself can visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s website.