RCMP warn residents of financial scam in Yellowknife

An overpayment scam can happen when a victim receives a counterfeit cheque from someone who has purchased a product from them, according to the RCMP.

Be wary of fraudulent cheques, say RCMP

N.W.T. RCMP are warning residents about overpayment scams happening in the territory. (Andrew Pacey/CBC)

N.W.T. RCMP are warning residents about a new financial scam in the territory.

The RCMP's Financial Crime Unit says it has been made aware of overpayment scams in the N.W.T. An overpayment scam happens when a victim receives a counterfeit cheque from someone who has purchased a product from them, RCMP stated in a news release.

Once victims of these scams deposit the cheque, the cheque bounces and the victim loses money, police said.

There have been three overpayment scams since December, 2017, one of which resulted in someone losing money, the RCMP stated in an email. The most recent case was reported last week. All three incidents were reported in Yellowknife.

"If we notice a trend, we want to make the public aware," the email stated. "The investigation is ongoing." 

Police say anyone selling goods should be suspicious of payment in the form of a cheque, especially if the cheque is for more money than the agreed selling price.

"Consider an alternative method of payment, such as an escrow service or online payment service," RCMP said.

RCMP are urging residents to use the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre's approach to avoid being scammed.

People should never accept a cheque for more than the asking price of an item, never agree to give money back to a buyer, never use a service they're not familiar with and always know who you are trading with.

Residents are being advised to contact their local RCMP detachment if they believe they have been victimized by fraud.