Avoid Money Transfer Scams

You may have already received many e-mails such as: You have won a prize or Are you in a foreign country and do you need cheap cash, or your dream house or property is available at dirt cheap price or you can earn big cash in no time. Beware! All these scams may have been originated by Identity thieves or Scammers or Hackers operating in the Internet looking for innocent or gullible prey.

FBI :: New E-Scams & Warnings

Internet Crime Complaint Center

To report potential e-scams, please go the Internet Crime Complaint Center and file a report.

Money transfer scammers often present themselves to you with many bogus referrals or success stories written by pseudo names. Similarly, money transfer scams can come to you via e-mail with dramatic and convincing marketing stories that could arouse your attention (or exploiting your optimism, or altruism, or thriftiness) unknowingly and forcing you to commit yourself to such phony schemes. In the same token, money transfer scams can depict impressive or true-to-life stories that will manipulate your egoism. According to US consumer protection authorities, transferring money through online companies such as MoneyGram, Western Union and PayPal is safe. However, they advise anyone to be caution when dealing with strangers or unknown persons or businesses.

The mode of operation of any online scammer is to bulldoze the victim to pay upfront so the victim realizes later that he or she has been cheated. Usually, quick money earning scams that are prevalent on the Internet use this ploy asking anyone to pay upfront to get their services. You will notice, such payments cannot be recoverable or in many cases not traceable. Especially, when someone is hooked onto a money transfer scammer and has wired money to another country, the fraudulent recipient can collect the cash from many locations. So it is extremely difficult to track or trace the fraudster or the scammer. So one should be aware and know how to identify scammers. There are many internet sites which give lot of details of money scammers and their way of operations. The best approach is to do a bit of research on the net about the money transfer company to be sure that the particular company is not a scammer.

Let us examine some Internet scammers:

Fake Cheque Scammers

In this case an anonymous or phony individual will send you a cheque giving you instruction to deposit it in your bank account and later wire transfer part funds or whole amount by keeping a commission. It is customary for any bank to make funds available on deposited cheques within few days; however, detecting fake cheques may take weeks. In essence, anyone dealing with cheques must be extremely cautious and be aware of his or her obligations. According to banking law, the depositor is responsible for any cheques deposited into his or her account and any money is transferred against any cheque deposited. Hence, he or she will owe the bank any transferred money against the pending fake cheque.

Similar to fake cheques there can be other scammers such as Lotteries and sweepstakes, overpayment scams:

Lotto or Sweepstakes:

This is another form of fake cheque scamming. Such scammers send unsuspecting victim a posted letter or an e-mail indicating that he or she has just won a foreign lottery. The letter sent include a cashier's check with instructions how to deposit it into his or her account. Also, the letter will tell the victim, if he or her needs to claim the full price money, he/she will have to wire certain amount of money to pay taxes and fees.

Though the cheque looks to be an authentic cashier's cheque, finally the bank will uncover it as a fake. If the victim deposits the fake cashier's cheque and wires money back and once the fake cheque got bounced back, the innocent or unsuspecting victim will eventually have to bare the money lost from his or her account.

Overpayment Scammers:

When you advertise to sell an item on the Internet such as eBay or any other auction site, the online scammer may contact you indicating his willingness to buy the item. He then will offer you the option of accepting a personal cheque, or a cashier's cheque, or corporate cheque for the item. If you agree and buyer wins your confidence, he will say that he is willing to pay you more for the amount asked and wire back the difference. Usually such cheques are counterfeit that extremely good enough to mislead bank tellers. Assuming authenticity of the cheque, you will deposit the fake cheque and wire the excess money back to the buyer. Unfortunately, the fake cheque bounce back and you are responsible for the money transferred to the fraudster.

Besides above, there are many money transfer scammers come up with various attractive offers every day. Please be aware and be cautious. The best thing is to use the reputed money transfer companies that are in business for many years. Also, when in doubt, it's always better to ask someone or do some research about the company on the internet to ascertain the authenticity of the company.

More specifically, to prevent getting caught to money scams, you have to follow simple steps:

Avoid any stranger requesting you to deposit a cheque and send part of the money back.

Never deal with strangers, person to person or online regarding money transfers.

When you deal with online auction sites, do the transactions through their recommended money transfer companies such as PayPal, Moneybookers, and Bank to Bank wire transfers. Never deal outside the auction site, because when you deal outside of the auction site such as eBay, you will not be covered under eBay buyer protection program.

Never reveal your email or your personal details or credit card or bank details to any stranger online.

Do not open any Scam e-mail messages or mark such e-mails as scam.

Filing a Complaint

In the case, you have found that you have been duped by a scammer while using online money transfer companies, then immediately contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center and file a report. Sometimes, you may be lucky to reverse the transaction though it may be a remote possibility. Alternatively, you can complain it to Federal Trade Commission if you live in USA.

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