12 On Your Side Alert - Avon Overpayment Check Scam

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A Tri-Cities viewer calls 12 after she nearly becomes a victim of a check cashing scam. Cammie Brown was trying to make a little extra money. She decided to sell Avon on the side as an Independent Sales Rep. Less than two months in, she was targeted by scammers.

"There is a contact button and that is how she got in contact with me," she said. The person ordered about 175 bucks worth of merchandise but when the check came, Cammie was shocked. "So I was thinking just a little bit of money here and there but when I received the check, it was worth $2,250 dollars, Red flag went off," she told us.

Cammie was the victim of the old overpayment check scam. Crooks come with a reason to pay you more than what you're requesting, then ask you to wire the extra cash back to them. Cammie didn't fall for it. She called 12 so other Independent Avon Reps wouldn't be fooled. "I guess sometimes you think things can't happen to you but when this did, I wanted people to be aware that this is happening and they will give you a pity story. So just be aware of situations that you can get yourself caught up in," she said.

NBC 12 contacted Avon it released this statement: "It is unfortunate that unscrupulous individuals have been targeting small business owners with online scams. At Avon we take steps to alert our independent sales Representatives to these threats on a regular basis through email notifications and alerts on our Representative-facing website. Thank you for taking the time to educate your viewers about these matters so that anyone running an online business is aware of the threats, and can apply the best judgement, especially when dealing with unknown customers whose correspondence seems questionable or 'too good to be true."

"Don't let this discourage you. If you want to sell Avon go ahead and do it. I love it but would just say beware," Cammie said. She showed us several emails pressuring her to wire money, each one more desperate and urgent. The person would never communicate through telephone only online. "If I get something on the internet, I am definitely going to be more leery and more cautions about what I do," she said.

Cammie figured she wasn't the only person targeted, she contacted the company listed on the FedEx package. Her suspicions were correct. The company says it has had problems with crooks using it's name in the past. "They contacted FedEx and there were 14 cases, not with this but the same situation," she said.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, remember, never accept a check for more than your selling price and don't ever wire money to a buyer.

The FTC offers safety tips and details on how to report check overpayment scams.

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