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Receiving an international payment

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 shantaram 16 May 2020

I’m selling an item via a Facebook for sale page and I have an interested buyer from Lithuania. He doesn’t want to use PayPal due to the fees, but would prefer to pay via bank transfer. He also wants to arrange a courier himself to pick up the item. His Facebook profile seems to check out and he is selling items on this Facebook site. Should I be concerned giving him my bank details plus home address for this sale? 

Post edited at 13:45
 Blue Straggler 16 May 2020
In reply to shantaram:

I am not experienced in this area and I do not want to cast aspersions on your buyer or on the good people of Lithuania but this is raising a lot of red flags. If I were in this position I’d cancel the sale. Plenty of scam models involve the buyer arranging their own courier, I have forgotten the mechanism by which this gives them an advantage. Admittedly I’ve read about this more regarding car sales 

 JIMBO 16 May 2020
In reply to shantaram:

Google "scam buyer arrange own courier" and there is lots of evidence for scaming...

Essentially you don't have evidence of delivery and they can claim they never received it.

In reply to shantaram:

Using own courier is certainly a red flag; read the "buying and selling" pages on any hifi forum.

Bank transfer charges are likely to be higher than PayPal fees.

I wouldn't risk it.

 crustypunkuk 16 May 2020
In reply to JIMBO:

But if they are happy to pay through bank transfer, where's the scam? The scams you reference rely on payment through a medium that can be reclaimed such as paypal.

As soon as payment by bank transfer is in your account, the money is yours. Cant be reclaimed unless you give it back.

2
 JIMBO 16 May 2020
In reply to crustypunkuk:

I'd still be very cautious...

In reply to shantaram:

It will cost you something like £7 to receive a foreign payment.

1
 Andrew Lodge 16 May 2020
In reply to shantaram:

Offer to split the paypal costs and insist you arrange the courier, otherwise scrap it.

 crustypunkuk 16 May 2020
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Use online banking. Its instantaneous and free?

There are unfortunately lots of crooked people trying to scam, but in this intance given the facts as presented, I cant see the angle for the scam? Paying by bank transfer means the buyer has no comeback in case of scam, not the seller.

 Jamie Wakeham 16 May 2020
In reply to shantaram:

I'm really unsure about this one.  There's a classic scam using the buyer's own courier - the buyer then claims that the goods never arrived, and as the seller didn't contract with the courier they have no proof to counter the claim. PayPal astonishingly automatically side with the buyer on this, and refund them.

But there's no way your back would refund a direct transfer, so it's not this scam.

There's another one where they pay by cheque, and after the goods have been taken the cheque bounces. This is often accompanied by sending a cheque that's for too much, and asking you to hand the difference to the to courier. So if they suddenly ask to pay by cheque rather than the transfer, run away.

I can't see any way they can scam you if a transfer is safely in your account.  However, the insistence on their own courier is odd - why would they want to do that when they could presumably just have you post it instead? And is a bank transfer (especially one converting from euro to sterling) really cheaper than PayPal?  I'd be proceeding with caution.

 elsewhere 16 May 2020
In reply to shantaram:

In some countries bank transfer is the normal and preferred method.

 Blue Straggler 16 May 2020
In reply to crustypunkuk:

> As soon as payment by bank transfer is in your account, the money is yours. Cant be reclaimed unless you give it back.

Are you (and others who have said the same) absolutely sure about this? 

In reply to crustypunkuk:

> As soon as payment by bank transfer is in your account, the money is yours. Cant be reclaimed unless you give it back.

I would check with your bank about international bank transfers, and whether they can be revoked. If your bank finds out that money hasn't actually been transferred (to the bank), I think they will take it off you.

Post edited at 17:50
In reply to crustypunkuk:

> Use online banking. Its instantaneous and free?

International bank transfers are not free.

 Blanche DuBois 16 May 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Are you (and others who have said the same) absolutely sure about this? 

This is the sort of thing that I find infuriating about advice on UKC.  You've already admitted you have bog-all knowledge of the subject, but you can't resist sticking your oar in.  Why?  What real help are you giving?  It is actually possible to let a thread go without contributing.  Your place on the top whatever list surely can't mean that much to you.

2
In reply to crustypunkuk:

Recieving an online payment from outside of the UK will incur a bank charge. I am with Natwest and it costs me £7 per payment no matter how big or small the payment and no matter where the payment originates from - I get regular payments from Ireland and Italy plus ocassional payments from Canada, USA and Japan and always it costs me £7.

In reply to Blanche DuBois:

I am pretty sure that the outcome will depend on the country where you are transferring to. I quite often make transfers abroad eg for prize money/travel expenses for the CWIF and other things and my bank (Natwest) told me that money transferred within the EU can, under certain circumstances be recalled. They were pretty vague about the circumstances but at least they claimed it was possible. But I was looking at transferring to Serbia and was warned that if I got the transfer wrong then the money was gone, 100% no chance of it back.

 Blue Straggler 16 May 2020
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

You are right about my ignorance and the associated irrelevance of my contributions on the topic of whether or not bank transfers can be reversed.  I am so terribly sorry. However there’s no aspect of “not letting a thread go” and I really really don’t care about UKC posting “rankings” though, so you are utterly wrong about that.

I’ll leave the clued up people to advise the OP about this transaction. Enjoy your evening! 

In reply to shantaram:

It sounds fishy, but I thought appealing and refunding bank transfers can be quite difficult. Could it be a stolen bank account, for which he/she doesn't have access to the card details in order to use with PayPal? Mind you, a decade ago cards that supported web payments (i.e. when you enter card details & CVV), including PayPal, were premium and rare. Bank transfers can be pricey as well, which negates the PayPal fees, too. 

Unless it's some odd item that you couldn't sell within UK or make him/her use PayPal, I would advise against pursuing it. Personally, I would just take a 10% cut and sell it within UK. 

I am Lithuanian myself. If you need a hand with some translations or looking up his/her details, just shoot me a mail. 

 shantaram 17 May 2020
In reply to shantaram: Thanks everyone for your input and advice. I’m insisting on PayPal and organising my own courier for this transaction to ensure my peace of mind. 

 Ian W 17 May 2020
In reply to crustypunkuk:

> Use online banking. Its instantaneous and free?

> There are unfortunately lots of crooked people trying to scam, but in this intance given the facts as presented, I cant see the angle for the scam? Paying by bank transfer means the buyer has no comeback in case of scam, not the seller.


Thats not true; there is a clawback mechanism.

This has scam written all over it.

Post edited at 09:50
 jimtitt 17 May 2020
In reply to Ian W:

> Thats not true; there is a clawback mechanism.

> This has scam written all over it.


How? Where? I do plenty of international transactions and have never seen, heard or read of a way a payment can be clawed back once it is received into an account without the recipient releasing the money.

 Ian W 17 May 2020
In reply to shantaram:

> I’m selling an item via a Facebook for sale page and I have an interested buyer from Lithuania. He doesn’t want to use PayPal due to the fees, but would prefer to pay via bank transfer. He also wants to arrange a courier himself to pick up the item. His Facebook profile seems to check out and he is selling items on this Facebook site. Should I be concerned giving him my bank details plus home address for this sale? 


Bank transfer is ok, but open a separate account to receive the money, then transfer it out - preferably in cash - the instant it lands, and then close the account. It'll possibly prevent a clawback.. Note the account thing is often used by scammers who dont want the money to be able to be sent back. Courier is ok - lots of lithuanian van drivers to-ing and fro-ing with capacity.

He could well be genuine; we had a few customers in Lithuania. if you have his address, google earth it. When i worked in an ouline sales place we would constantly check things like this out. Does the address look reasonable for the goods you are selling?

However, that was in a business environment; this is (I assume) a personal sale. So its a gamble. And as others have said. I would advise accepting a lower price in the uk.

 Ian W 17 May 2020
In reply to jimtitt:

> How? Where? I do plenty of international transactions and have never seen, heard or read of a way a payment can be clawed back once it is received into an account without the recipient releasing the money.

It can be done if there is criminal intent. Hence the use of "temporary" (for want of a better word) bank accounts by scammers, as there has to be funds there to get back.

 Jamie Wakeham 17 May 2020
In reply to Ian W:

As I said above, I'm really unsure about this one.  I am utterly certain that, within the UK, a Faster Payments type transaction cannot be recalled - that is the basis of the scam where the victim is persuaded to move their finds to another account by a fraudster posing as a bank employee.  Once it's done it is irrevocable.

But I've just had a quick google and there is some mention of recalling banks international payments if the card used to fund the transaction turns out to have been stolen.  Is what's happening here not really an account-to-account transfer like we are used to, but a card being used to pay directly into an account?  And, therefore, that card could be stolen or cloned?

It's clearly not a very common scam otherwise we'd have heard about it (and it would be easier to google).

 timjones 17 May 2020
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> Recieving an online payment from outside of the UK will incur a bank charge. I am with Natwest and it costs me £7 per payment no matter how big or small the payment and no matter where the payment originates from - I get regular payments from Ireland and Italy plus ocassional payments from Canada, USA and Japan and always it costs me £7.

Are they paying in pounds or their own currency?

We incur no charges for payments from within the EU provided the customer pays in GBP.

 Blue Straggler 17 May 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

I promised to depart this thread but I will break that promise. I think part of this sort of scam, if it’s a scam, is that ultimately they won’t of course go for the irreversible bank transfer but, late in the deal, will have an “about face” or use some excuse about their banking, and end up actually using something reversible/recallable (in buyer’s favour) like PayPal, as it then looks like they are doing the seller a massive favour suddenly. This relies on the seller just wanting to get it all done and out of the way 

 Jenny C 17 May 2020
In reply to timjones:

Business account with Barclays, we get charged £6 to receive a sterling payment from outside the UK.

 Jamie Wakeham 17 May 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Yes - that's a very real threat.  The courier is at your door, and the bank transfer mysteriously hasn't arrived, so they email you saying they'll have to use PayPal instead...

 jimtitt 17 May 2020
In reply to Ian W:

> It can be done if there is criminal intent. Hence the use of "temporary" (for want of a better word) bank accounts by scammers, as there has to be funds there to get back.


That explains nothing and gives no evidence that it is possible for someone to clawback money already in my account. My bank ( the biggest in Germany) assures me it is impossible without the payer taking legal action and then usually fails unless they can show it was a mis-transaction and the recipient knowingly failed to report it to the bank.


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