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View Full Version : NEW check fraud alert!... (not really)



Fazor
2010-Mar-19, 05:24 PM
I couldn't find a great fit for this under the existing news-related threads. It's not bad reporting; at least not by the media. It's more like a case of some old, out-of-touch person talking about the latest and greatest thing, that has actually been around for years.

Ohio AG warns about new bogus check scams (http://www.lancastereaglegazette.com/article/20100319/UPDATES01/100319008)

Ohio's top law enforcer says in one new spin, people who use Web sites to sell items are sent fraudulent checks that exceed the sale price and are asked to return the overpayment. When they do, they lose that money.

Yes, that's a very real scam and it's important to make people aware of it, I guess. But new? I had someone contact me and try to do the same thing 10 years ago when I sold my laptop on eBay, and it was already a well-established scam at that time.

But at least there's some advice everyone should follow:

Cordray said Friday that consumers can usually protect themselves by simply refusing to send money back to anyone who has sent them a check.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Mar-19, 07:12 PM
Or don't send any until the check's cleared and you have the money in hand.

Fazor
2010-Mar-19, 09:22 PM
Or don't send any until the check's cleared and you have the money in hand.

It still seriously tips the "Uh-oh, this doesn't seem right" alarm. Rather than cashing the check and seeing if it clears (which isn't an awful solution), I'd say send the check back and have them write a new one.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Mar-19, 09:46 PM
Or simply go caveat emptor and state that you'll either keep the money or the item, it's their own fault for paying more than the agreed upon amount.

geonuc
2010-Mar-19, 09:59 PM
Or simply go caveat emptor and state that you'll either keep the money or the item, it's their own fault for paying more than the agreed upon amount.
While that may seem reasonable, I don't think the law works that way. You must presume it was an honest mistake and not the work of con artists. The excess money cannot be legitimately kept.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Mar-20, 11:35 AM
The thing is that the con is based on the check never clearing, if it cleared so I could get the money I'd gladly return the excess. Until it did, I'd keep the check, my money and the item for sale.

geonuc
2010-Mar-20, 11:50 AM
The thing is that the con is based on the check never clearing, if it cleared so I could get the money I'd gladly return the excess. Until it did, I'd keep the check, my money and the item for sale.
Certainly. You have two legitimate options: send the check back (or tear it up and notify the buyer), or deposit it and wait for it to clear and then return the excess.

Fazor
2010-Mar-20, 12:07 PM
The thing is that the con is based on the check never clearing, if it cleared so I could get the money I'd gladly return the excess. Until it did, I'd keep the check, my money and the item for sale.

The problem as I see it is that I could work a con even if I sent a legitimate check; though it'd be more time consuming and costly to me.

If you cash the check and send me back the excess, then I try to return the item and deman a refund, I have my cancelled check showing where you accepted the full payment. So if you're sending money back, do it with something traceable like another check. Something that shows you made a payment back to me.