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to wonder if you can scam a scammer

(13 Posts)
montysma1 Sat 13-Oct-12 16:12:56

We have a holiday cottage that we rent out via a website. Scam enquiries are quite common and I had already sussed one today as dodgy even before the website notified me. Things like very odd english, wanting a 3 week holiday on a scottish Island in february, and giving their address as Leicester Square, London!

Anyway, the scam apparently is that when they pay, they "accidentally" pay some large amount in excess of what is due and ask you to refund money to a third party to balance it up. People then wait until the bank says the money is clear, send this money to the third party, and then a month later are told that the money has not actually cleared, so the large payment is gone from your account plus what ever you paid to the third party.

Just wondering, if any bank workers are on here know a/ Why the bank would say that money is clear when it isnt b/ How the money can leave your account again (sometimes they do electronic payments too and these can be deemed invalid after a month as well))

Was wondering what would happen, if you let them pay in the large amount, took the money out and closed the account. Who has lost the money if you do that? The scammer or the bank?

Sometimes I feel like spinning them along after reading a book by a guy whose hobby was doing just that, ie ,seeing how far he could string them along into thinking he was sending money to the nigerian princes bank account in order to to get half of the gold reserves before they realised he was on the wind up.

EdgarAllanPond Sat 13-Oct-12 16:26:29

bacs payments (including epayment) can be recalled - the most secure method of payment is telegraphic transfer which can't be. at the time - it would look cleared.

if you authorise a payment - you are liable i believe.
if the bank issued it without your agreement, they are liable, but that wouldn't be the case here.

Vix07 Sat 13-Oct-12 16:31:26

Be v careful with this sort of thing as it would also flag up as possible money-laundering with the bank if it is to be refunded to a third party. Do not get involved!

montysma1 Sat 13-Oct-12 16:37:42

Oh gosh no, I'm not going to get involved , just wondering how apparently cleared payments can such as cheques can then be "not cleared" at later date and the money wheeched out of your account.

The web site emailed that this is a scam email (scammers sent the same one to 400 house owners in Scotland England ,Ireland ,and Wales) and said this:

^scams of this type are run by groups of people operating as part of a syndicate and if you proceeded to deal with them over a rental they would probably end up forwarding a cheque or electronic payment to you for too much (eg 5000 pounds), and will then ask you to send the balance on to someone else.
So you wait for your bank to confirm the 5000 pounds has cleared, and then you send the balance on to another person who cashes it. 28 days later your bank tells you there's a problem over the original 5000 pounds which although it seemed to have cleared, it hasn't and is to be debited back out of your account^

Just wondering how cleared cheque suddenly becomes uncleared and how you could ever be protected agains dud cheques in that case.

ratspeaker Sat 13-Oct-12 16:41:43

Remember these are criminals and they have your details
I think they'd be turning up at the holiday cottage looking for you and terrifying your guests if you took a lot of money from them.

If you want to engage with these type of people do it safely, dont put innocent third parties to any bother, read some of the websites out there that engage in scambaiting
419eater is one
they also have a sister site scamwrners who try to raise awareness of the scams going around

badbride Sat 13-Oct-12 16:43:22

What you are thinking of relates to the noble sport of scambaiting and you can read more about it here: smile

ratspeaker Sat 13-Oct-12 16:43:54

WhoWhatWhereWhen Sat 13-Oct-12 16:46:49

The banks follow the 2-4-6 rule this is what allows this scam to work, after 2 Days the funds appear as uncleared in your account, can be withdrawn after 4 days but aren't finally cleared until 6 working days

This is a very common scam and works more than you think because people don't know about this stupid rule.

montysma1 Sat 13-Oct-12 17:15:58

I dont really intend to engage with them, particularly with regard to my cottage, which is safe by the way, as the address and location is not disclosed till all moneys are clear and email correspondence is via the letting web site and not direct, so my holiday makers are assured of a gangster free holiday.

I was just wandering about the website saying that 28 days later you would be told that there was a problem with the payment. Are you saying WhoWhatWhereWhen, that a payment is deemed cleared after 6 days, and that if the bank said there was a problem after that then they would be liable.? Its just a bit of a worrying if cheques are so insecure and can be "uncleared" after the 6 days. Also, that BACS payments can be removed at will. In that case, couldnt a victim who paid over money do the same thing and pull back their money?

There is something appealing though, in the thought of fraudsters spluttering with rage as their intended victim legs it with their £5000! Wont be me though!

WhoWhatWhereWhen Sat 13-Oct-12 18:57:02

The scams I've seen involved a cheque from a bank overseas that turned out to be fake, I believe it is possible for the bank to remove the funds from your account after the 6days in these circumstances

maddening Sat 13-Oct-12 19:41:59

They do it on credit cards too - pay the card - withdraw the cash and the payment returns unpaid. It's called uncleared effects I think and is a type of fraud.

I think if you did it and the payment came back unpaid you would still be liable for the balance and the bank could chase you for it. If you refuse to pay then you would end up with negative info on your credit file. The scammers don't have a rl odentiy and credit profile to
Deal with and are probably using fake I'd's etc

ShellyBoobs Sat 13-Oct-12 21:20:17

419eater is a very funny site.

I can't find the thread on there where someone managed to get a scammer to have a tattoo identifying himself as a crook, but there's some great pics on there where people have managed to get scammers to do silly things.

MNers will like this one:

montysma1 Sat 13-Oct-12 22:22:22

Very funny indeed. A lot of ingenuity there!. Where do they get the time though?

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