Xpress Money, Instant Money Transfer


A money transfer scam is a fraudulent scheme that involves you transferring money to someone you don't know. In most of these scams, you will be asked to transfer money for someone through your bank account, which means you would have to hand over your bank account details to a stranger. If you agree to take part, the scammer could use your account details to clean out your savings.

The Most Common Scams

To safeguard yourself from becoming a victim of fraud, look out for the following warning phrases, keywords and actions that are most commonly used as lures.


Money laundering is a criminal offence—do not agree to transfer money for someone else.

  • "Act Now" Schemes

    Tele / Email Marketing Fraud

    You may receive calls or emails with "exciting offers", for the "lucky winners", "for a limited time period only". The caller or emailer will urge you to "act immediately" to take benefit of this "once in a lifetime offer". All you need to do is wire the required amount.

    Internet Auction Fraud

    With increased online activity, antique items and great deals for all kinds of merchandise are now available at a click, especially through online auctions. All the seller wants is a "down payment through money transfer", to "save on sales tax". You even get a receipt confirming the transaction and sale.

    Inheritance Fraud

    Someone who has no relatives has died and you can 'receive a huge inheritance' because you 'share the surname'. A 'lawyer' sends you an email or a letter saying he could give the money to you and all you need to do is split the money between him and you. All you have to pay are some taxes, legal fees, banking fees etc.

    Phishing Scams

    Phishing emails are fake emails usually pretending to be from banks or other financial institutions. They make up some reason for you to give your account details and then use these details to steal your money.

  • "Grow your Money" Schemes

    Employment Fraud

    An "exciting opportunity" to work for a "multinational company" may come across your desk. You may apply, go through interviews and even receive an offer letter. But to get employed "all you have to do is" send a processing fee, which will be returned as soon as you join.

    Investment Fraud - Ponzi / Pyramid Schemes

    All you need is an "initial investment", and in return you are promised "high financial returns or dividends". Sometimes you may even be encouraged to "recruit more investors" for "extra profit". You might even get a few initial dividends to build your confidence!

    Nigerian Letter or "419" Fraud

    "Make easy money online by just transferring 2000 CAD to Miss. Rosemary"

    You are promised huge rewards if you help someone transfer money out of their country by paying fees or giving them your bank account details

    Work at Home Scams

    Employment opportunities that promise huge incomes with little work, usually by asking you to transfer money for someone else or recruit new victims. Scammers could also lure you into mystery shopping for them, to evaluate money transfer services.

  • "Help me / Help them" Schemes

    Family Emergency Scam

    • Scammers pose as relatives or friends in distress, asking you to transfer money to help them out. For example, a scammer impersonating your family member calls you saying they've been in a car accident with high-ranking diplomats, who are pressing charges against your family member unless you agree to pay them for the damages.
    • The scammer asks you to transfer the money immediately or they would take your loved one to court or prison.
    • They coach you on what to do or say when you approach the money transfer agent.
    • The scammer tells you to keep this a secret and not to notify your family, friends or even the police.


    • Resist the urge to react immediately.
    • Ask the scammer/ impersonator questions that only your family members can answer
    • Try calling your family members or friends to confirm
    • Contact the local law enforcement to enquire about scam trends
    • Inform the teller at the Money Transfer service about the circumstances. The teller probably knows about this scam, and will dissuade you from sending money to these scammers.

    Disaster Relief Fraud

    Like the ill or jailed relative, you may receive calls or emails asking you to contribute to a disaster relief campaign, or donate money in aid of victims by transferring money directly to the organizations account. "It would be your good deed for the day!"

    Romance Scams

    Scammers set up dating profiles to meet potential victims. After establishing a 'relationship' with you, they ask you to set up a bank account to which they wire money, and then tell you to wire the amount out of the country. Or the scammer says that they want to meet you, but they are short on funds, and request you to send them money for a plane ticket.

    Sponsor Medical Treatment

    Sometimes, email and email forwards will highlight a person's medical condition and encourage you to contribute towards the treatment of that individual. You could "wire even 1 USD" to an account created especially for this purpose.

  • "Advance Payment" Schemes


    "Your mobile number has won a lucky draw!!!! Ask our teller / agent partner for more details."

    You are asked to send money in return for some sort of prize; for example, a lottery, a holiday package or a pre-approved loan.

    Warning Signs

    • Emails, letters, phone calls offering you an all-expenses paid holiday to Hawaii, Maldives etc.
    • Emails congratulating you on winning the lottery. But first you will have to pay them a "small fee" to avail your prize, promising you that the reward is much greater than the fee.

    Rental Scams

    There is an advertisement for a place to rent for, and that too for a very low price. But the "landlord" says they are out of the country on business or missionary work. But you can "wire them the first and last month's rent" and the "flat could be yours".

    The Fake Loan Scam

    You receive an email or a letter from a fake loan company, offering to loan you money. All you need to do is send them money through a "wire transfer to pay for loan fees", taxes, service fees, or advance payments.

    After submitting a loan application, you are asked to wire processing payments to the lender and promised that the "loan will be processed shortly".

    The Extra Payment Scam

    Someone sends you a cheque or money order for something you are selling or as an advance for your services but the amount is more than it should be. All you need to do is wire the extra amount back to them.