It’s National Consumer Protection Week!
Con artists use good people like you, and good money transfer companies like Western Union, to steal money. They use any means to contact victims—telephone, snail mail, email, and the Internet. They gain your trust and when they have you hooked, they ask you for money; then they take it and run. Your best defense is to be aware, educate yourself and use good judgment.
Lower your chances of falling victim to fraud by checking out these eight wire transfer never-evers when using a money transfer service:
· Never send money to people you haven’t met in-person.
· Never send money to pay for taxes or fees on lottery or prize winnings.
· Never use a test question as an additional security measure to protect your transaction.
· Never provide your banking information to people or businesses you don’t know.
· Never send money in advance to obtain a loan or credit card.
· Never send money for an emergency situation without verifying that it’s a real emergency.
· Never send funds from a check in your account until it officially clears—which can take weeks.
· Never send a money transfer for online purchases.
General warning signs:
· Scammers have many excuses why they can’t meet you in person. They list numerous reasons why they need money and always seem to be in trouble.
· Scammers claim they have been in an accident, are in the hospital and their medical bills have to be paid in full before they can leave.
· Scammers will tell you to send the money in the name of a friend or family member to verify you have funds or to act as an escrow until you receive the purchased goods or services.
· Scammers need money because they were mugged and their money, passport, and ID were stolen while traveling.
· Scammers continue to ask for money for a plane ticket to see you, or to “float” them until payday.
· Scammers claim they’ve been in an accident or have a sudden family tragedy right before boarding a plane to meet you, or are held up in Customs and needs money for their release.
If you receive a suspicious email referencing Western Union: Forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it.
Smart people fall for scams every day. Test your knowledge of money transfer fraud and learn how to protect yourself with our Fraud Quiz at www.westernunion.com/fraudquiz.