How to Avoid Falling Victim to Fraud Involving Money Transfers
Scams are as old as time itself, and it’s only gotten more prevalent with the invention of the internet and global connectivity. You’ve probably seen or heard about money transfer scams on the news or social media where an unsuspecting elderly victim fell into a scammer’s trap.
If you think it couldn’t happen to you because you’re older or wise, think again. Even the most brilliant people can fall victim to clever financial scams. Here are some of the most notorious money transfer scams and tips on how to spot them.
How To Spot A Money Transfer Scam
The easiest way to spot a money transfer scam is if a potential scammer asks you to send money via an unregulated company. Since legitimate money transfer companies will be regulated within the industry they operate, you should always ensure you’re doing business with a reputable and verified company you have personally vetted.
New companies or firms you’ve never heard of are not necessarily red flags but require further investigation. Likewise, just because you’ve heard of the company before doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. You should always double and triple-check everything before sending money.
Another common sign of a money transfer scam is improper grammar or vocabulary. If the guy claims to be from a large company but cannot put together a sentence without it being ridden with mistakes, alarm bells should start going off.
Avoid Unrelated Requests
Money transfer companies that ask for a lot of information unrelated to the money transfer should also ring alarm bells in your head. While it may be common for them to need the routing number of the bank account you’re sending money to, they should never ask for your other sensitive information, like your password or social security number.
You should also be on edge if the company has contacted you rather than vice versa. Scam companies will often send out mass emails or text messages to lure in unsuspecting victims. If you did not seek this company out, they may be trying to scam you.
Common Types Of Fake Money Transfers
Most money transfer scams rely on a few techniques: phishing, sending money to the wrong address, and social engineering. Knowing how to look for these different things can help avoid further problems.
Phishing is the most common way these scammers steal your information. They may send emails with links that download keyloggers or outright ask for your data after tricking you into believing that they’re the bank or money transfer company.
Be wary of people that contact you stating that they are from a company. The best move is to simply hang up the phone and call the company back from a verified number on their website. For example, if Chase Bank calls you and informs you there is an issue with your account, hang up. Then look on Chase’s actual website for the phone number and call them. If there is a genuine problem with your bank account, the representative you connect to will be able to describe it and solve the matter with you.
You should also always verify that the account information you send the money to is correct. Always double-check that no one has added extra information or changed the account numbers. Always perform money transfers in person and ensure you know who you send the money to.
If a family member asks you to send them money, call them and hear them say it. Some scammers will pretend to be family members or friends. Getting additional confirmation from the person in the form of a phone call is an easy way to verify that it’s them who is requesting the money.
Social Engineering Is Trending
Another scheme you need to pay attention to is social engineering. This is hard to understand since some scammers can be so good at it. Social engineering is also how scammers trick people who think they’re too smart to be scammed.
Social engineering is making a person reveal secure information or send a money transfer without them realizing they’re being scammed. Scammers will pretend to be banks, utilize new methods unknown to the public, and do anything else to trick you.
In short, to protect yourself from money scams, always be aware of the common techniques that scammers will use to steal your information or trick you into making a money transfer. The best thing to always remember is to ensure you are talking with the bank or company you think you are, even if you have to hang up and call the number listed on their website. Remember the wise adage: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
How To Report a Money Transfer Scam
Let your close family and online friends know about these money transfers scams. Feel free to share this page if it was helpful. Meanwhile, you can report scammers and any other suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the portal below:
How To Protect Yourself More
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Meanwhile, feel free to educate yourself with some other money transfer fraud-related articles. They are listed under this paragraph, so that you know more about online security. Last but not least, if you have any bad experiences, make sure to use the comments section below to expose other scammers.
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