Scambusters, Preventing Internet Scams & Phishing Attempts

This blog is dedicated to help preventing internet fraud and internet scams. Scambusters was a radio show I started in Albany Oregon, but due to defaulted payment by the radio station we took the show offline. Regardless of this issue we still wish to help prevent internet fraud and save people from internet loss. I have been interviewed and featured in various publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times & Daily News, The London Times & AARP Newsletters. Please watch this blog for latest tips and tricks and scams to avoid.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Check fraud scam resurfaces in Ind.

Note:  One of the most known and common scams, it surprises me that computer savvy college students would fall for such a common scam.  Just goes to show that no one is immune.



Let the seller beware: students using online marketplaces such as eBay or might get rid of more than the items they want to sell.

Linda Carmody, president of the Better Business Bureau of Central Indiana, said a form of consumer fraud known as an "overpayment scam" has resurfaced, affecting four people across the state this year, including two students who lost money.

Carmody said she first heard about the scam in 2003.

According to the BBB Web site, the scam occurs when a potential buyer responds to a classified advertisement, offering to pay several times the advertised price. The buyer justifies this by telling the seller the extra money will be used to pay a broker or to cover international shipping.

The seller, having received a legitimate-looking check or money order, deposits it and wires the difference to wherever the buyer specifies, according to the Web site.

In reality, the buyer sends a counterfeit check, betting on the fact the seller will not verify it with their bank or the issuing institution.

By the time the bank notifies the seller of the fraud, he or she has already wired the funds, according to the Web site.

The Indiana Daily Student reported two Bloomington students lost thousands of dollars in separate overpayment scams. In one case, a woman looking to sublease her apartment received a check for $2,300 more than she asked, which she wired overseas. A male student selling a guitar for $100 received a check for $2,000 and instructions to wire the balance to London, which he did before realizing the check was a fake.

According to the report, neither student verified the check with the issuing bank before wiring money overseas.

Allison Preszler, media relations specialist for the Council of Better Business Bureaus, said overpayment scams can affect people as well as businesses.

"Once you send the money, there's not a lot to be done," Preszler said. "A lot of operators [of overpayment scams] are out-of-country."

Carmody said scammers often buy the same paper banks use to print checks.

David Fried, director of Student Rights and Community Standards at Ball State University, said he had not heard of any reports of the scam affecting Ball State students.

No comments: