Business online - Deposit refund

How the deposit refund scam works

  • Scenario A
    1. You, as a supplier, get an urgent order via telephone or email.
    2. A deal is structured, usually involving a direct deposit into your bank account.
    3. A copy of the stamped bank deposit slip for cash is faxed to you.
    4. Goods are released to fraudsters.
    5. A fraudulent cheque is deposited instead of cash, and the deposit slip is fraudulently amended.
    6. The cheque is unpaid due to it being fraudulent.
    7. Your bank account is debited.
    8. You are unable to contact the ‘client’ and suffer the loss.
  • Scenario B
    1. You, as a supplier, get an urgent order via telephone or email.
    2. A copy of a stamped bank deposit slip for cash, for a higher amount than originally agreed upon, is faxed to you.
    3. The ‘client’ then contacts you and requests that the excess amount be returned via electronic transfer into a specified account.
    4. On the strength of the faxed copy of the deposit slip, you refund the excess amount.
    5. A fraudulent cheque was deposited instead of cash, and the deposit slip was fraudulently amended.
    6. The cheque is unpaid due to it being fraudulent.
    7. Your bank account is debited.
    8. You are unable to contact the ‘client’ and suffer the loss as the funds have already been withdrawn from the fraudster’s account.
  • Scenario C
    1. You, as a supplier, get an urgent order via telephone or email.
    2. A copy of a stamped bank deposit slip for cash, for a higher amount than originally agreed upon, is faxed to you.
    3. An Internet transfer receipt is fraudulently manipulated to reflect a ‘transfer’ to your account. The transfer could be for the exact amount of the order as in Scenario A, or for an amount in excess of the agreed amount as in Scenario B.
    4. The fraudulent Internet receipt is faxed to you.
    5. The goods are released to the criminals or the ‘excess’ refunded as previously described.
    6. Your bank account is debited.
    7. You are unable to contact the ’client’ and suffer the loss as the funds have already been withdrawn from the fraudster’s account.
  • Scenario D
    1. A cheque is deposited to your account without your knowledge.
    2. A letter on a false letterhead purporting to be that of a well-known entity or institution is faxed to you stating that an amount has been paid to your account. The letter provides details of an account to which the ‘refund’ must be made.
    3. You are sometimes contacted by someone who then confirms the content of the letter, stating that it is important to make the refund as soon as possible.
    4. You make the payment.
    5. The cheque is unpaid, leaving you out of pocket.
  • Do

    Contact the entity or institution on a number ascertained from the telephone directory and confirm the request. Be cautious of clients who want to ‘keep their distance’. Retain complete records. Confirm details of payments with your bank.

  • Don't

    Be pressurised due to urgency.
    Relax controls and procedures.
    Proceed if you have any doubts.
    Use the number provided by a caller or provided on a faxed letter.