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Twist on overpayment scam

 
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fmcewan



Joined: 18 Nov 2016
Posts: 3
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:39 am    Post subject: Twist on overpayment scam Reply with quote

In over three years as an owner, I'd not come across the overpayment scam. And have only just joined Lay My Hat - trying to find out more. Not been into social media, blogs, forum chat but learning more.
I can understand how the scam works to release money from stolen cheques. But here's the twist - I have received a bankers draft, not a personal cheque!
I've had bankers drafts before, my direct booked Canadian customers like to use these. All above board. However, this was ten times the rental amount! The 'guest' wants me to transfer the balance to a 'travel agent'.
After much discussion, we suspect what's going on here is identity theft and illegal immigration. The owner ends up as travel purchaser, their name goes on the tickets, the fake guest has your name and address and false travel documents.
We've been to bank, police, and reported it to Home Office, who said it's a scam, report it to to Action Fraud. We did and it's not being followed up because we didn't lose any money. Huh!
The authorities don't seem to 'get it' and aren't interested.
I'm actually quite worried that the scammer or 'travel agent' might turn up looking for their money as we have no way of sending it back.
Please spread the word! And if anyone knows this one - how;d it turn out?
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oasiscouple



Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 340
Location: Gironde and Port Leucate, France

PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Presumably you haven't tried to pay in the draft, or have you? If you have reported it to your bank, have they confirmed whether it is genuine?

A few months ago, after several exchanges with a potential scammer giving an address in the USA who was interested in renting my naturist beach apartment in March, I let the dialogue continue to see what would happen. He ended up sending me a bankers cheque, i.e. a cheque which is not supposed to bounce, for about 20 times the rental amount. It had been posted from England and was drawn on a French bank. I took it to my bank who confirmed at first glance it was a fake as it didn't have the watermark of a real bankers cheque.

After receiving the cheque, I didn't hear from the guy again so to this day I don't know what he was trying on.
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fmcewan



Joined: 18 Nov 2016
Posts: 3
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:52 pm    Post subject: Twist on overpayment scam Reply with quote

Took it to bank to ask for advice, looked at it but didn't say it was a fake, just said it would be unwise to deposit it, given concerns.
Interestingly, like yours, the draft was from a French bank but posted to me with UK stamp and postmark.
Have been in touch with French bank who asked for more info. Have sent scan of draft to them, while they won't be able to see the watermark, should be able to check numbers and say if it's valid anyway.
The scammer was very insistent that I wait for draft to clear before making onward transfer.... all very odd,
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13118
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My sister had this happen years ago but draft was from the Bank of Ireland and posted from Cyprus. As potential client was supposed to be a soldier, she almost fell for it.
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1209
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say first, wait to see what the French bank has to say. The bankers draft might indeed prove to be genuine, but with the amount being 10 times the rent it immediately shouts SCAM.

I think you may well be right that this is a person trying to enter the country illegally, posing as a tourist in an effort to circumvent immigration procedures.

Alternatively, it may be a money laundering attempt. In both instances he is relying on your honesty to forward the excess to his co-conspirator "travel agent" (or in reality back to himself). Is it possible to find out any more about the travel agent?

I agree with 'oasiscouple' that you should file the bankers draft away carefully and await events, if any. I don't know, but I wonder if French bankers drafts have a life. For example, if it is not presented within say 60 days, the draft become null and void. If you were to cash the draft, you might become implicated in something unpleasant, so I wouldn't do that.
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fmcewan



Joined: 18 Nov 2016
Posts: 3
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all. Will sit tight and see if I get any further communication from anyone. Was quite surprised UK authorities weren't interested - forging a bank draft seems quite sophisticated, wonder how many others are being duped!
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oasiscouple



Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 340
Location: Gironde and Port Leucate, France

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Twist on overpayment scam Reply with quote

fmcewan wrote:
Interestingly, like yours, the draft was from a French bank but posted to me with UK stamp and postmark.


Just curious due to the similarity. The cheque I received was posted from Manchester and the cheque indicated it was from Crédit Agricole Ile de France. Any match with your draft?
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3930
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is not anything more complicated than an overpayment scam. The bank draft is counterfeit. He is insisting you wait for it to clear to engender trust. As soon as you pay it in to your account it will show as credited, you will assume it is genuine. But the draft is then returned to the issuing bank, and only then does it become apparent that it was a fake. By then you have made your repayment.
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