Old Scam is Back!

August 08, 2013

The Better Business Bureau is advising businessesthat one of the longest-running scams is back, and targeting local businesses.


If your businessreceives an order for a significant amount of work or product that seems to betoo good to be true, then it just might be.


Typically a business is contacted by phone, emailor through the internet, and an order is placed for retail goods such ascomputers or audio-video equipment. A deposit is made on the order via creditcard or with an official cheque. Generally the “deposit” is for an amountlarger than the cost of the order. When the purchaser is contacted about thisoverpayment, the response is to ask that the excess be refunded. Beware! Do not refund the excess immediately asthe entire transaction may be fraudulent. The Better Business Bureau has seenthis activity in the past.


The scam works because your business will depositthe cheque or process the credit card and ship the goods to meet customerservice objectives. Unfortunately the cheque issued will be counterfeit or thecredit card used will be stolen, and the buyer is likely non-existent.  As the supplier you won’t become aware ofthis for a few days while the cheque or credit card payment is clearing as afinancial transaction.  If you haveresponded quickly delivering great customer service, your business may be outthe money that was “refunded” and unable to retrieve the goods shipped inresponse to the order.


Individuals engaged in activities like thisusually strike during the holidays when regular employees are away, businessactivity is high, and less knowledgeable staff filling in.  The Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewanencourages you to educate your employees to be wary of unknown customersplacing orders that seem too good to be true. 

For further informationabout this topic, or to check the reliability of any company sending asolicitation for any service or product, or from whom you have received aninvoice by fax or email for services and products yet to be delivered,businesses may contact the Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan at (306)352-7601, toll free at 1 (888) 352-7601 or online atwww.sask.bbb.org or email at info@bbbsask.com


TheBetter Business Bureau of Saskatchewan Inc. is a non-profit organization fundedby over 900 business members throughout the province.

“The BBB… developing,encouraging and promoting

ethical business practicesin the marketplace.”