Victoria, BC – BBB serving Vancouver Island is warning the local business community to be on high alert for an overpayment scam that could result in the loss of thousands of dollars.
BBB has received multiple different reports from local Accredited Businesses that are being targeted with a sophisticated email scam. It all begins when the business receives an email from a supposed customer requesting the purchase of a specific product or service. Sometimes the email comes directly from the fake customer, other times the email looks as if it has come through a contact form from an online directory webpage. Through an ongoing email dialogue with the business, the scammer requests the ordering of a detailed and very specific product offering provided by the company.
When it comes time for a deposit or partial pre-payment of the product, the “customer” creates some sort of elaborate story or situation in which a third business is involved that cannot accept credit card payment. The local business is asked if they could take a larger lump sum payment from the customer’s credit card. The business is then asked to use the money to pay for the ordered product or service, and to e-transfer the difference to the third-party business.
BBB is warning local businesses not to fall for this classic overpayment scam. In reality, the credit card being used is likely stolen or fake, and the money that is being e-transferred will be lost to the business and virtually untraceable once sent.
Protect Your Business
For information on protecting yourself from fraud visit bbb.org/Vancouver-island.