Con artists use a number of convincing schemes to get your money. One of the most prevalent of these schemes involves the use of money wire transfers. Money transfers are preferred by scam artists because, once the transfer is initiated, the funds are available immediately for pick up anywhere in the world and are untraceable. By following these simple tips, you can avoid becoming a victim.
- Know who you are wiring money to. Be suspicious of any request that requires you to wire money to a stranger. Even if the request appears to come from, or on behalf of, a friend or relative, be skeptical.
- Avoid wiring money to anyone outside the country. Verify “emergencies” with other family or friends before you wire money. Once the money is sent, it is virtually impossible to cancel the transaction and recover your money.
- If you have placed a classified ad to sell an item, be suspicious if someone offers to send you a check for more than the sale price, especially if you are asked to wire the remainder of the money back to the sender or to some third party.
- Be skeptical of any offers that promise you a commission to simply receive money into your bank account and transfer the funds to another person.
- Falling victim to a money transfer scam puts you at risk of having your checking account wiped clean.