Bad money

Criminal cashback is an overpayment, usually by cheque or bankers draft, where the receiver is asked to send money to a friend, shipping agent, escrow company or other third party.

Their objective is to send ‘bad money’ which may be in the form of a stolen cheque or forged bankers draft and get ‘good money’ in return.

  • The person who pays the money into the account remains liable to refund the money to the bank if the cheque or draft ‘bounces’. The criminal has gained and the victim lost, hence ‘criminal cashback’.

In all these cases the bank or money transfer company is just following your instructions.

  • If things go wrong they most often are not able to reverse the transaction and are not liable.

Examples of criminal cashback include:

  • Over-payments for items bought over the internet, for example, vehicles.
  • Payments using an intermediary such as a shipping or escrow company. Escrow is a form of safe transaction used by companies to hold the funds whilst goods are being purchased.

If you do become concerned during a sale:

  • Don't be afraid to ask questions of your ‘buyer'.
  • Don't be hurried along by your ‘buyer' - this is often used by a fraudster to get you to make a mistake.
  • Check the details of any payment received - do they correspond with what you know of your ‘buyer’.
  • Company cheques or banker's draft - contact the company directly to verify its legitimacy.
  • Talk to your bank - they will give you guidance and clarify the status of any payments received.
  • Ultimately, don't be afraid to turn down a suspect ‘buyer'.

(Source: Met Police)

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