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How Do I Avoid Wire Transfer Fraud?

Records of an international wire transfer.
There can be scams in local classified ads.
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  • Written By: Richard Jennings
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2014
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Wire transfer fraud is the act of defrauding or obtaining money from someone under false pretenses using any type of electronic communication. Thousands of people around the world fall victim to wire transfer fraud every year. However, wire transfer fraud is easy to avoid, with due vigilance. One of the most important things to remember to avoid wire transfer fraud is to never give your banking information to someone you don't know or who isn't representing a legitimate business with which you're already doing business. Remaining skeptical of any e-mails claiming you've won an award, inherited money or otherwise requests your bank account information is a good way to avoid fraud as well. Users can also make themselves aware of common fraud schemes by reviewing articles and watching for news stories on the subject.

One of the easiest ways to avoid wire transfer fraud is to never use a wire transfer service to do business with someone with whom you are not already familiar. Something else to watch for are e-mails claiming that you've won a prize. These scams often involve the criminal party sending you a fake check for double the amount of money which you have supposedly “won.” He or she then requests that you immediately send them the difference through a wire transfer.

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Some other common scams include bogus offers to sell things at attractive prices through venues such as online classified ads. The criminals take your money, but there is no actual item for sale. Other common scams include the well-known “Foreign Lottery” scheme in which you receive an e-mail declaring you a lottery winner in a foreign country. If you haven't played a foreign lottery, you can safely assume this is a scam. Other schemes, such as the “Nigerian Prince” scheme, usually involve the scam artist posing as a foreign official and offering to pay you to make a wire transfer to accounts in various places throughout the world or telling you you've inherited money — they just need your bank information so they can make a transfer. To avoid wire transfer fraud, remember that most wire-fraud scams require you to give away banking information. As long as you never divulge any personal information to those whom you do not know, you can more easily avoid the scams.

Another easy way to avoid wire transfer fraud is to educate yourself about common wire transfer fraud schemes so you can quickly differentiate legitimate e-mails from unscrupulous scams. There are many different types of wire fraud, but all require the scam artist to obtain trust from their victims. As long as you remain skeptical toward offers from people you don't know, you can avoid many of the most common scams.

If you find that you have fallen victim to a wire-fraud scheme, there are some ways to limit the damage that the scam artist can do. You can immediately report everything that has happened to your bank and to the bank where the scam artist's account is located. If you can report it early enough, your bank may be able to freeze the funds and open an investigation. You should also report the incident to the police, as it is common for large police departments to have technology crime and identity theft units. It is also appropriate to report your case to government-run crime centers. These offices often track such crimes and your report may help them catch a criminal.

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Hazali
Post 3

@Krunchyman - It's funny you should mention that, as I also wonder how scam artists get my email address as well. For example, as few years ago, during my freshman year of college, someone had apparently signed me up for a bunch of spam emails and scam lists.

Everyday, I would receive about ten emails from people in India. They would claim to have a sick child, and they would also offer me millions and billions of dollars.

While I didn't respond to these emails, and though I did block them, they still came back in full force, and more kept on popping up. Finally, I was able to create a spam filter, and get rid of these emails, even though they still kept coming.

Though it's still unknown how one can get signed up for scams, it's definitely something people should be careful about. If you end up on the wrong website, it could come back to bite you later on.

Krunchyman
Post 2

Although there are many scam artists that are quite tricky, on the other hand, some of them are pretty easy to catch, or at least their tactics are.

Notice how in the fourth paragraph, it's mentioned that many scams can come from emails that offer benefits and money. Unlike wire transfer frauds, which one might not even know about until it's too late, these are generally easy to spot.

It's so obvious that the sender is trying to scam you (by asking you to submit personal info like your social security number), that it's not even worth the trouble to respond or report. One thing I've always wondered though is how these scammers get one's email address in the first place.

Viranty
Post 1

With an increase in technology and the way that people communicate, it seems as if fraud is becoming more and more prominent in this day and age. It really makes me wonder how how much it happened in the past.

After all, technology wasn't as advanced as it is now, and while identity theft and fraud did occur, it was nowhere near as bad as it is now. Overall, when it comes to dealing with fraud, I think one thing we need to be aware of is the fact that for the most part, it normally happens when we least suspect it.

For example, even though fraud happens to many people on a daily basis, those who haven't been victims generally don't give much thought about it. However, it isn't until they make a careless mistake that they begin to realize the error of their ways. Also, this is one of the reasons why when you set up an account (whether it's online or in person), you should always make sure that your bank has some sort of protection against fraud.

When I had set up my bank account a while ago, I remember my parents telling me to check up with my local bank and see what kind of protection they offer. At the time, I believed that I didn't need it. However, after hearing about the recent incident where many bank accounts were hacked, I'm glad I went with the right decision.

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