For a few weeks now, we have been trading emails with an organisation in Qatar who claimed they wanted to book a whole week of meeting space with us. The team were immediately suspicious, but, being the trusting souls we are, we continued to be professional and sought a firm contract, supported by a payment to guarantee the booking. We continued to accept other potential bookings “just in case” the suspect enquiry didn’t come off.
So this week, we got notification of a cheque payment hitting our bank account. The amount was SIGNIFICANTLY more than we had asked for. This was their response:
“I received notification that payment of £35,199 was erroneously sent to your account from our financial department.
They issued another payment along with your payment due to the instruction of your payment and another company payment forwarded to them, This erroneous mistake come in play because of double payment I requested from the financial department.
We have merged two payment forwarded into your account, instead of the agreed amount for the Booking .
Kindly acknowledge the payment of £35,199 as soon as it gets to your account so we could sort out the differences and also proceed.
Name Withheld| Executive Director
We reported the cheque to our bank as soon as it hit the account, and thankfully did not send anything back, waiting instead until it was proven that the cheque had cleared. Sure enough, by Thursday it was clear that the cheque bounced. Having dug about a bit, it appears this is a clear “over payment scam” targeting the events industry. See this blog for further evidence.
So a cautionary tale, and a word of advice, if it appears too good to be true, it probably is!