For the most part, there are security measures in place to ensure your safety when sending money to someone from another country. The problem occurs when either the sender or the recipient becomes a victim of a scam. Here are the 7 most common Internet scams that involve sending/receiving money which you need to watch out for:
Typically, a phishing scam consists of you receiving an email or a call that’s supposed to come from an established organization (like MoneyGram, for example) and it asks for your financial details and info such as your username and password, your credit card details, and your secret security questions and answers. The email may even contain a link that looks official, where you are asked to fill out a form that includes all the aforementioned info. You can avoid being scammed by NOT clicking on the links.
2. Fake charities and disaster relief programs.
Check the news, and everyday it seems that there’s a catastrophe happening somewhere in the globe. A lot of people of course want to help, but scammers can take advantage of your goodwill by setting up fake charity programs. So if you want to help, make sure you go through reputable organizations such as Red Cross, Unicef, and World Vision.
3. Sweepstakes and lotteries.
You may receive an email, a letter or a phone call stating that you’ve won a lottery and to claim your prize you need to send money to the organizer. This is obviously a scam, since there’s no such thing as advance payments for any legitimate lottery or sweepstakes winnings. If you don’t even remember entering a lottery or a sweepstakes, then you should just ignore this communication.
4. Counterfeit checks and money orders.
If you get a check or money order, and you’re told to cash it and to transfer part of the money to someone else, this is a scam. The check or money order is fake.
5. Huge discounts in ecommerce sites and newspaper ads.
Some advertised items may have prices which seem too good to be true, and although in some cases, they are actually real, you need to be wary if the “company” requires you to wire some money to them first. You must never use a money transfer to pay a stranger for merchandise you have not yet received.
6. A “relative” needs money.
You may get an email or an SMS from a relative claiming that they need money, except that the email address or mobile number they used is different. Sometimes you may even get a call from someone claiming to be a police officer or lawyer informing you that a certain relative of yours need financial help. You must confirm this by calling the relative directly if you know them.
7. Strangers in need.
If you get a call or an email from a stranger asking for financial help, 99.99% of the time it’s a scam.
Remember that the moment you send the money, there’s no way of ever getting it back. So don’t allow yourself to get scammed. Always make sure of whom you’re sending the money to, and avoid any offer that sounds too good to be true.