Know how to recognize the warning signs of wire transfer fraud:
- Someone that you have never met in person is asking for money. This is the biggest red flag for fraud. If you’re in a long-distance relationship with someone you’ve never met in person, be wary of possible fraud, if they start asking for money. The reality is: fraudsters are professionals and they’ll do whatever it takes to get their hands on your cash. When it comes to that new love, overseas inheritance or investment opportunity, it’s worth the cost of the plane ticket to ensure it’s legit. If you can’t meet them in person, you should think twice before sending your money.
- You receive an email that claims you’ve won a jackpot but you have to pay fees before you can receive the prize. The reality is: the fraudsters are the ones hitting the jackpot. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- You see an ad online for a great deal, but you’re required to transfer the money right away to receive the product. The reality is: the product doesn’t exist and they just want your money. While many people use wire transfers to pay for luxury items, it’s worth checking the reputation of the seller, if you’re transferring a large sum.
- You get a job as a mystery shopper but they send you a check for more than what you’re owed. You’re asked to send the excess funds back via wire transfer. The reality is: this is just a clever way to steal your cash, as the check is probably fake.
- You receive an email from someone pretending to be your bank or other service provider saying you need to update your security info. The reality is: as soon as you click the link, you’re vulnerable to malware. Phishing emails that try to steal your information or get you to wire money will often contain a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. The email might not address you by name, and it comes from a suspicious and unrecognizable source. It will probably ask you to provide financial information or to verify it, but if you hover over a URL, you’ll see that it will take you to a suspicious and unknown website. Don’t click on any links within these emails; instead, just delete them and block the sender.
- You receive an email or a phone call that claims the IRS wants you to pay back taxes, and you need to transfer your money or you’ll be arrested. The reality is: the IRS will formally contact you by mail rather than by phone, and they won’t be asking for your payments by credit card or by wire transfer either.
What not to worry about
When you see a warning signs for wire transfer fraud, the good news is that you can protect yourself by being alert to typical scams and taking some simple self-protection steps. If you do need to wire money overseas, using a reputable provider like OFX will get your money where it needs to be safely and securely.
At OFX, we’ve taken a multi-layered approach to your security because we don’t want you to fall victim to scammers. A combination of SSL encryption, fraud prevention, and identity protection means you can enjoy the benefits of our services while resting easy. So tell those scammers to scram because you’re too smart to be fooled by their tricks.