Personal Finance 
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Overpayment Scams

Kim Palmer at US News wrote about how Farrah, on MTV’s “Teen Mom” show, fell for a classic overpayment scam.

An overpayment scam is one in which the scammer sends you a check for more than the required amount, then asks you to send the balance back. Online it usually involves the sale of something expensive, a notebook computer or perhaps even a car, to someone in another country. The overpayment is designated for shipping, which the scammer wants wired to a “shipping company.” The check is a fake and, since it’s international, takes some time to cash. In fact, with international checks, banks sometimes will “cash” it before the funds are verified or transferred, then reversing it when they discover the check is fake. In the meanwhile, you send money to the “shipping company,” which you never see back.

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