Is it safe to wire money?
Wire transfers are one of the most efficient ways to transfer money overseas, but is it safe to wire money? The simple answer is yes. Usually.
The biggest risk to your money could be you
The risks associated with wiring money are, in part, a result of the efficiency of the method for sending funds. Wire transfers can often be completed within one business day by providers like OFX. But once the funds are received by the overseas party, it’s very difficult to retrieve them if you discover a problem.
How can you stay safe when wiring money?
You can increase the safety of your money wire by following some simple guidelines:
- Avoid wiring money to someone you’ve never met in person.
- If you need to pay people you’ve never met like overseas suppliers, verify their business credentials through phone calls, online reviews and other means. This is to ensure you are dealing with the company itself and not an imposter pretending to be your supplier.
- Be especially cautious when wiring money to someone who first contacted you via email or dating service.
- Choose a money transfer provider with a dedicated fraud prevention team like OFX.
- If you are wiring money for an investment, check with the local securities commission to see if the investment company is regulated. You can check who regulates them by going to the IOSCO (International Organization of Securities Commissions) website. Then, you can contact the appropriate overseas regulator or search its website to ensure that a company of that name is registered or licensed.
- Be careful when donating to independent charities who may lack the oversight of larger organisations and who may not be what they claim. Do some research before you give. Check the organization’s identity and tax status before you donate.