Money transfer services such as Western Union and MoneyGram are a godsend, especially if you need to send funds to loved ones or business partners who are abroad. However, as great as these services are, people should still be very careful when sending money. Wire transfer scams are rampant, and a lot of con artists are taking advantage the convenient system to scam people into forking over their hard-earned money.
Below are examples of money transfer scams that you should watch out for:
Money Transfer Rip-Off –If you were contacted to “evaluate” the customer service of a money transfer company, be very wary. The modus operandi of such scams involves having you deposit a check, and then fork over the funds using a money transfer. You complete the transaction only to find out that the check given to you was fake.
Sweepstakes Swindle – This starts off with a person receiving an email or phone call informing them that they’ve won a contest. The only problem is the “prize” is in another country, so the winner must pay for certain fees (i.e. taxes, customs, etc.) in order for the prize to be shipped. The person wires over the fees only to find out that there was no contest to begin with.
Heartbreaker Scam – On a dating site? Don’t be too trustful. If you’ve been communicating with someone who suddenly had to go abroad, it’s time to be suspicious. Dating site scams usually go like this: Girl meets boy, boy suddenly needs to go abroad for work or an emergency, but they still keep communicating. Boy starts asking for money and girl wires the funds over. The requests for money continue until girl realizes that it’s a rip-off.