Overpayment scams usually originate when an individual tries to sell an item online. The criminal sends a check over the amount requested, which is usually accompanied with a letter or a prior email, stating that they sent extra funds to cover shipping costs, etc. Then the criminal instructs the individual to deposit the check and return the rest of the funds back to them. The individual deposits the check into their account, returns the remaining funds back to the criminal and then the check comes back as 'fraudulent' or 'account closed' and is debited from the individual's account, leaving the individual at a loss of the whole amount of the check plus the 'extra' funds that were sent back. Be cautious when selling an item online and request that the teller verifies the check before it is deposited!
Originating in Nigeria, lottery scams are now coming from several parts of the world. Some other notorious lottery scams originate in Canada and South Africa as well. These scams include a letter that explains the victim has won the lottery or a sweepstakes. The letter is usually accompanied with a cashier's check made out to the victim's name for a certain amount. The letter will instruct the victim to deposit the check and then wire funds back for 'taxes'.
Inheritance scams are another popular scheme often sent from Nigeria. Usually sent by mail or email, the criminal explains that someone is deceased and you are the only person with inheritance rights. The amounts can vary but are usually fairly large. They then request that you send them your account information so they can wire the money from the inheritance to you.
If you receive any of these items in the mail or receive something similar, please consult with a Personal Banker at one of our locations before you proceed with depositing the funds or following the directions. Our mission is to protect you!
If you would like more information about these scams, please contact Chelsea Bradshaw at Citizens Bank of Edmond.