Beware the 419 Overpayment Scam

Planning a vacation is fun and exciting and renting or buying a timeshare resale from an owner should be a great experience. But, some scam artists are out there to take advantage of those who are unaware of their tricks. If you plan to buy or rent a timeshare, beware of the “419 Overpayment Scam”. How it typically works is that the alleged renter or buyer sends you a cashier's check for more than the amount you agreed upon and in turn asks you to wire back the difference. Do not accept or cash a check that is not the agreed upon amount. There is no reason for them to send you more money than was discussed. A cashier’s check like this will most likely be counterfeit and your bank will hold you responsible for the entire amount.

Here are some tips from the US Postal Service to help you avoid financial transaction scams:
  • Be skeptical if you are asked to wire money to overseas, or if someone wants you to cash money orders or checks for them.

  • Never give out personal or financial information to anyone you don't know.

  • Familiarize yourself with money order services offered by the post office.

  • Never accept money orders, cashier’s checks or personal checks for more than the asking price.

  • Never agree to wire funds to a buyer.

  • Never wire funds to anyone unless you're sure the money order or check you’ve deposited has cleared your bank and the funds have been released.

An escrow service is the safest way to conduct financial transactions. First American Title offers a special escrow process for renting and selling timeshares.

If you are a United States citizen and believe you have been a victim of this type of fraud, please contact your local Secret Service field office. For those in other countries, the 419 Coalition Website has reporting instructions to how to file fraud claims.
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