Throughout human history, there have been two kinds of people. A majority that believes that hard work and creative thinking is the way to wealth creation; and second, a small minority of people, who believe in quick and unethical methods of stealing from the former. For centuries, scammers and fraudsters have plagued the world, evolving with time and posing ever-so-real challenges for individuals and financial institutions alike. Today, scammers trick unsuspecting people to send money to them, by luring them with attractive too-good-to-be-true propositions. By the time the victim realizes what’s happened, it’s often too late.
With fintech deciding the course of our financial future, there is an ever-growing demand for new, more efficient ways to send money and make payments. Today, we can send money from one corner of the world to another, within seconds. From money transfer operators to banks, people have access to multiple touchpoints to send money. While seamless payments play a crucial role in creating a more globalized economy; if not practiced with care, they can also lead to some problems. The advent of new payment channels has given scammers new routes to bring in their loot from around the world. But you don’t have to be a victim.
Here are a few money transfer tips to ensure that your money is not reaching the ‘wrong’ hands.
The Right Money Transfer Channel
Whenever you need to transfer money to friends and family in another country, make sure that you use a reliable money transfer channel to do so. Secure money transfer operators, like Xpress Money, have years of expertise in this field and over the years, have developed systems that offer multi-layered security and data protection to customers. Remember, it’s not just your money that scammers are after, it is also your personal details such as bank account numbers, telephone numbers, or any information that they can use against you.
…send money to strangers and people who you do not know. Just don’t. No matter what’s promised in return, unless you are a 200% sure that you are sending money to someone that you trust, just don’t do it. If you stick to this rule, consider that half the battle is won.
Know the enemy
There are different ways (some ridiculous, some remotely believable) in which scammers lay their traps. Here are a few common scams and frauds that you should be aware of.
Advance Payment Schemes
“Your mobile number has won a lucky draw!!!! Ask our 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. The email congratulates 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. Never believe anyone who they say they are in an email and certainly do not be lured in to parting with any money or personal details.
Family Emergency Scam
Scammers pose as relatives or friends of the victim, who are in distress, asking them to transfer money to help the family member/ loved one out. For example, a scammer impersonating the victim’s family member calls them saying they’ve been in a car accident with high-ranking diplomats, who are pressing charges against the victim unless they agree to pay for the damages.
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 money 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.
While phishing scams are not money transfer scams, they pose a very serious threat to your personal information that can be used to steal your money. Phishing emails are fake emails usually pretending to be from banks or other financial institutions. They often contain links to a website that looks official but is a fake website operated by the attacker. They make up some reason for them to give your account details and then use these details to steal your money.
Online money transfer
While sending money online opens a whole new world of convenience, you must take care of a few things. Always set strong passwords and never share your login credentials with anyone. Use reliable online money transfer apps and websites to wire money online; don’t just opt for the newest player in the market. While many money transfer services offer ‘the fastest way to send money’, it is important to choose an operator that is trustworthy and reliable.
Your ultimate weapon against scammers
The most effective line of defense against frauds is your own common sense. Whenever you feel the need to send money to someone you don’t know, use it. Consider the following;
- Never disclose details, such as your PIN or full banking password
- Use a secure way to send money
- Don’t assume that an email, message or phone call is authentic
- Don’t be rushed – a genuine organization won’t mind waiting
- Listen to your instincts – you know if something isn’t right
With a little bit of self-control, you can ensure that you never become a victim of any of these outrageous, yet deadly scams. When it comes to choosing the safest way to transfer money, remember that you play a crucial role in keeping your money safe.
Unknown individual sends you a fake check and asks you to cash it and wire them part of the money
A person you meet online claims to be romantically interested in you, but soon asks you to transfer money
A potential landlord you found online claims to be traveling abroad and asks you to transfer money for rent
You receive an email from a friend that claims to be in trouble in another country and needs you to send them some money. Always verify that this is a legitimate emergency.
The online money transfer website is not encrypted (look for that “https” at the beginning of their URL!)