NEW YORK ( BankingMyWay) -- You're a small business retailer of women's apparel selling your clever design online. Let's say it's a small, weighted decorative magnet -- maybe in the shape of a poodle or flower -- that can be affixed to a summer skirt so when the wind blows or the subway grate bellows, your skirt doesn't go "Marilyn Monroe" on you.
A payment by check for an order comes in, (but whoops!), the buyer paid way too much for that item. You check to make sure they didn't mean to order 100 of them. Nope, just one. And so when the buyer asks politely that you deposit the check and then send back to them the overpayment, the ethical person in you does just that. The only problem is, the buyer you were dealing with is about as far from ethical as a person can be. In fact, you, the small business owner and online retailer, have just become the latest victim of a pervasive (and lucrative) online sales fraud scheme.
How pervasive? The crime described in the above example, known as overpayment fraud, is listed among the
Bank fraud is an onerous and draining problem for everyone involved in an increasingly virtual world -- including consumers, vendors, banks and law enforcement officials.Javelin Research, which annually issues a comprehensive report on U.S. consumer fraud, says in its