BBB Warns Of Overpayment Scam Amid Spring Cleaning Season
Just in time for spring cleaning season, the Better Business Bureau is warning those who may be selling things online soon - or that already have.
As we shake off the winter blues and start to clean out our living spaces to start fresh with the new season, we can get excited about the prospect of getting organized and maybe making some cash along the way.
This is such a popular thing this time of the year that scammers are cashing in on it, just like they seem to do with so many other things. According to the BBB, they have received a lot of reports regarding these scams.
The scam begins when you post something for sale online, like on Facebook Marketplace, for example. No matter what you are selling, you are contacted by a scammer who is posing as an interested buyer. From there, they offer more money than you have the item up for sale for, which is the first red flag.
While this seems unusual, they cover their tracks by saying they want to pay you extra as a way of paying it forward and as a thank you for bring helpful. They may also say it's the policy of whichever payment app they are using. They may also pay by check, which should be another red flag.
You know what happens from here: you are asked to refund the extra funds. They say it was a mistake or come up with another excuse of why they overpaid. You give them the extra funds only to find their initial payment was fake. You are also out the money you would have received for the thing you were selling.
Scammers are certainly getting more advanced, so be aware of the warning signs. Would someone really offer to pay you more than what you're asking for without reason? Probably not. While this would be awesome, it's just not the way things work.
Be on guard when selling things online. Do not send an item until you are paid and always check the validity of the buyer. This is not likely to be the last scam we see so it is always a good idea to be on guard.