According to a study done by the World Bank, money sent home by expatriates last year totaled a staggering £335 billion (about $509 billion) – or three times the amount of global aid budgets. It’s common for workers all over the world to supplement the incomes of their families back home, but the current amount and frequency has also given rise to transfer fraud.
The most common methods are notifications of fake awards, a bogus money inheritance or requests for bank account information (there are countless – often imaginative – stories that fraudsters use to extract this data).
For example, an individual dressed as a policeman may approach you, saying that a relative or friend of yours has been in an accident and then request that you send money immediately for his or her hospital fees. Another example is an email request for proof of funds to make reservations for your holiday accommodation overseas. Thousands of people fall for these scams every year; use these tips to avoid falling foul of wire transfer fraud.
Secure your online banking
Obviously, the easiest way to avoid a scam is to verify the identity of the recipient. If you trade in different countries and pay suppliers all over the world, however, it can be difficult to verify every single party before transactions can be made. One way to secure payments is to work with a bank that’s linked with your home branch and which provides secure online banking. Remember that your bank will never ask you to verify your details via email.
A healthy dose of skepticism
Some of the best-known scams are those that claim you’ve won a prize in a foreign lottery and that you need to send over your bank details to receive it. Similar are the “Nigerian Prince” or “419” scams that offer non-existent rare pets, unclaimed properties – even romance – in exchange for your details and payments. Apply common sense when someone you don’t know contacts you – especially if you haven’t played the lottery in Nigeria recently.
It’s too good to be true
Another common type of financial scam is an offer to sell something at an incredibly attractive price through classified ads. The recipient will accept your money but you won’t receive the item in return. Remember that if an item seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Every day, scam artists are thinking up sneakier ways of scamming you out of your hard-earned cash, but they require a certain amount of trust from you to make a sale or obtain information. As long you remain skeptical and aware that these scams exist, you can avoid most of the common pitfalls. Keep up to date with the latest scams to ensure you don’t fall victim to wire fraud.
If you think you have been a victim of fraud or want to learn more about digital life, you can read more information here.