Overpayment scams are an easy but effective way of trying to steal money from a business. The business receives a cheque for payment of services or for the sale of goods. The person making the payment by cheque writes it for an amount larger than they owe (i.e. they make an overpayment). They then request for the business to send the overpayment back by cheque or refund to an account. This is done before the cheque clears, which is usually returned unpaid or is written from a bogus account, leaving the business with a loss of funds.
- In order to protect your business from overpayment scams, always make sure you know that any funds paid into your account are irrevocable before making a refund – usually the 6th working day.
- Always exercise caution when forming new relationships with potential customers, undertaking appropriate due diligence.
- Never feel pressured into making a refund until you are sure the original funds are legitimate and secure.
- If you are concerned you have been targeted by an overpayment scam, contact your bank immediately and report the incident to the Gardaí/Police.