Money Transfer Scams

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The U.S. Postal Inspection Service recently distributed thousands of checks totaling $46 million to people who lost money in scams that involved MoneyGram, a popular money transfer service.

According to law enforcement officials, from 2004 to 2009, MoneyGram turned a blind eye to scam artists and money launderers who used the company to commit fraud. During that time, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. lost money to a variety of money transfer scams, including fake lottery and prize scams, family emergency scams, and “guaranteed” loan scams.

How do these scams work? Generally, you get a call from someone who says:

  • you won a prize but you have to pay “taxes” on it
  • a friend is in trouble and needs your help
  • you can get a loan — even if you have bad credit — but you have to pay a small fee first

Whatever the pitch, the caller’s only goal is to get your money ­— not to give you something in return.

MoneyGram also agreed to step up their anti-fraud programs. Nevertheless, scammers continue to add new twists to old schemes and pressure people into sending money. Using a money transfer service is like sending cash ­— once you send the money, it’s nearly impossible to trace it or get it back.

Check out this video for more details:

 

 

Tagged with: money transfer, refunds, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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I recently was referred to a property owner and viewed a property with the owner who has several properties and he requested cash only for the security deposit after the lease had been drawn up& signed. Is this considered a Rental scam because of asking for cash only.?

So I have a question last year I was involved with a man who was sending me money through pay pal he said it would be easier if I gave him my account info long story short I did he sent a check and it was fake my bank closed my account due to fraudulent activity I wanna know if I can open an account somewhere else I'm really stressing over this can anyone help

I had the same thing happen to me. The man deposited $1400 in my bank acct and and even signed the back of it as I was the one depositing the check. Thee bank flagged it at fraud and was closing my acct. I called the bank and of course assorted to no know knowledge and someone must have gotten my information somehow. To keep my acct open with a new acct the bank filed it as fraud scam. Of course no money was lost as the bank refunded it before the money could leave my acct. We live and we learn.

Hi, this is a heads up to expose this scammer. I applied for a job on craigslist as an exec. assistant. I received the email below which I'm obviously NOT going to reply to.

On Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 7:28 PM Abel Fargo wrote: Hello Prospective Applicant, My name is Abel Fargo, CEO Fargo Realtor. I am replying back to your message concerning the job posted on Craigslist. We currently have a vacant position available, which is the Receptionist Position. We are looking for someone that can be trusted and reliable to work very well with good understanding as a Front Front Office/Receptionist Position/Office Administrator The job involves you working remotely from your location and its flexible, working with us is about instructions and following them. My only fear is that we may need you to perform an assigned tasks in a timely manner sometimes, so we need someone who can be able to meet up with executing assigned tasks in a timely manner. We need your service because I am constantly out of town and presently in Quebec, Canada. I will return to the states next two weeks so this process will be on going till then. If you don't mind, I will meet up with you when I return and then we can talk about the possibility of making this long term. As a Front Front Office/Receptionist Position/Office Administrator, your activities among other things will include; Here is an overview of the job description Duties and Responsibilities: • Sort and verifies bank transactions. • Verifies keying of data and corrects errors. • Performs other related duties as assigned. • Running personal errands. • Work independently without much supervision. Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. ** Weekly Pay: $650.99 ** Hours: 20-25 Hours Weekly ** Days: 2-3 days Weekly Please note that this position is not office based for now, it's a part-time and will turn to full time. We are establishing a new office location in your area that you will be a part of the team upon completion. This position is a "part time" position for now, flexible, and it will be full time upon putting the office in place work from your location for now. I would like to give you an immediate trial, so if you are interested kindly get back to me. As I have been checking files and schedules and would need someone urgently to run some tasks for me this week/next week. My Financial Adviser will issue you a Certified Company Check to execute the task with, and complete the assignment. You will need to Purchase gifts and items for the kids(Foster Care) which i will send you a list and description of the items, alongside delivery address when purchased. Note that you are not to use your personal funds. Kindly RE-CONFIRM your contact details with your Full Names,Mailing Address (include apartment numbers), City, State and Mobile Number to enable us proceed to next step. Thanks in anticipation of your prompt response Yours Sincerely, Abel Fargo Fargo Realtor.

I fell for an extremely elaborate scam. I wired money to a friend a few times to help out for a few things (kids, etc.). This person is a friend that went to my middle school. I have a feeling that they scammed me by not giving me the money they promised to give me. To make matters worse, most of the text messages on my phone may be deleted, because my LG smartphone abruptly shut off, and can only turn onto one screen and not boot to the next. I had to go and buy another one. This is extremely frustrating. What I think may have happened is that somebody hacked my friends account, used it to scam me, and claimed that the IRS and their tax preparers needed to fill out paperwork in order to give me $600+. I usually don't fall for scams, I have been contacted by foreigners to give them money to help them out, I almost fell for the US grant scam, and I fell for an investor's scam through Paypal in 2015. I also fell for a romantic scam which was extremely embarrassing in 2014. I may not be posting this information in the correct group. Even if I am not, could I please receive some feedback on the best thing I should do. What I was able to do was to back up some of the SMS and contacts from my phone prior to August 7, the day that my old phone stopped turning back on all the way. I happened to be in the grocery store running errands when my phone, which was turned on, abruptly shut off at 57% charged. I have a feeling that the scammer may have hacked into my phone and stopped it from working. I am almost going through hell at the time. This unfortunate event is happening at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME IMAGINABLE. I am about to become a teacher, I work a full-time job, I am trying to become a software programmer, etc, and I am taking to community college courses, after graduated from a university with a Bachelor’s degree. I feel that the total financial losses may be at least $738.

Hi, just asking that I'm currrently finding studio for rent, and I found one and it looks amazing, but the owner asking me to use western union to transfer money to my family or friends a certain amount by the pick up cash transfer and show him the receipt to let his lawyer proof I have enough money to pay for rental before I pick up the cash., is this going to be a scam? Like maybe he will do a fake ID and go pick up the money before my friend or family pick it up. And I only can visit the studio and meet the owner after I've done all the transaction and send him receipt after his lawyer proof it

This doesn't sound right.

This FTC article about rental scams has tips and information for you.

It's not a good idea to send money to someone you never met in person to get an apartment you never saw. If you can’t see the apartment, ask someone you trust to go and make sure it's really for rent.

An us army man is asking me to get an wells Fargo easy pay card and register it with my information so he can send me money i dont know if i can trust him but he says i can im confused dont know what to do

Im mad someone called me and said i was approved of a loan whers i had took a survey a year early. The catch was id ha e to send money to have it shipped to me
Gof me for a few hundred and still havent even seen a dime tried to call bug number wouldnt work

i received a call telling me i qualify for an individual grant for the gov't they want to send me money via money gram. i wouldnt give my banking info. is this a scam? they arent asking me for any money they are wanting to send me this money.

This sounds like a scam. If someone calls you out of the blue and offers you money, it's usually a scam.  If you tell someone your bank account number, they can take money from your account.

Or, a scammer could put money in your account, and then tell you to withdraw some and send it back. If he deposits stolen money, and you transfer some of that money, you could lose money or personal information or get into legal trouble.

If you want a grant from the federal government to do an activity, you need to apply for it. Go to Grants.Gov to learn more.

i transfer money to someone who i am suspecting to be a scam and it more than 30days can i get my money back when i go to the bank to complain for a refund? i made the transfer from my bank of america account

My son has been taken over by a romance scam . He believes it is his soul mate. She only needs $2500 to pay legal taxes in Africa so she can get her father's inheritance. He is trying to sell his only possession, his truck, luckily he never took full title of the truck and it is still in my name. On top of this, he was told to open a Bank of America account, which he did. Someone deposited over $16,000 dollars in his account and then a week later they had my son take out 1st, $9800, below the $10,000 red flag mark and then the same day he took out the rest. My fear that a bad check, money order whatever was put into this new account and it will bounce and he will be responsible for paying back the $16,000 . We talked to the asst. bank manager and she didn't seem worried. She says it happens all the time. What can he do? I'm afraid that he will be put in jail for being an unsuspecting target and be responsible for this money. He has no money, no car, no possessions of any amount. What does he do and how do we get the word out to help others from not being taken by a fake romance lady? Please help.

Some scammers make up fake romances to convince people to help them transfer stolen money. A scammer will develop a relationship and ask their new sweetheart to accept a deposit and transfer funds for them.  Law enforcement calls the victims ’money mules.’  If someone gets involved with one of these schemes, they can lose money and personal information, and get into legal trouble.

Someone said I must pay for bank charges case he want to send me money I asked, I don't know if must I send it or not kindly advise

This could be a scam. Some people trick you. They say you must pay charges before they will send you money for a loan or a prize. After you pay the charges, you don't get the money. 

If someone says you must pay before they will give you a loan or a prize, it's probably a scam.

Hi I payed £200 to someone for bitcoin but I don't have a passport for id so they won't release the bitcoin or give me a refund into my bank account for the same reason no passport. Can my bank get the £200 bank transfer I done with my account and the bitcoin holders account? Thanks in advance for any advice

You sent someone money, but he won't return your money or give you what you paid for. If he will not return your money, you could ask your bank for help.  If he took your money, but did not give you what he promised, you could report him to law enforcement.

I have been asked to recieve money to my bank account from an on line love of mine. I was asked to send her money through moneygram. This is a large some of money. I asked her why she could not recieve this money. Her response was she chose not to have an account. The money she is getting are from.a sale of gold that she inherited from her father. Said she was having trouble finantially and needed my banking information for this transfer of funds. Am I being scamed?

This sounds like a scam. We've posted information about this. A scammer will develop a relationship and ask their new sweetheart to accept a deposit and transfer funds for them.  Law enforcement calls the victims ’money mules.’  If you get involved with one of these schemes, you can lose money and personal information, and get into legal trouble.

i want to ask something. if theres this person said i won something and want to bank in the money but they need my Account Holder Name, Account Number,Bank Name,Bank Address,Bank Swift Code, Country,Home Address , is this a scam?

That person is asking for a lot of private information. If you won something, they could send you a check. You could deposit the check into your account yourself.

If you tell your account number and bank and swift code and that other information, someone could take money from your account.

Dear sir,

One of the consultancy called me and said u want job, I said yes. Then he said u have to pay registration fees i.e 1980 and I paid it by paytm. After that they told me the process and said more 12250 u have to paid, in two quarters I paid it. After they asked more money. Then I stopped there and said I don't need any job. Please return the money that I paid to them. He agreed to pay back. Now it's been 3 days she is not picking up the call. Next step what should I do.

You can report the problem to a government consumer protection agency, or to the money transfer company. If the consultancy puts advertisements on a job website, you could report it to the website host.

Can a scamming loan place send you $700 and you have to send it back for verification in small amounts on iTunes pay cards.

If someone sends you money, but you have to send it back, you really aren't getting a loan. They may be using you.

Some scammers use people to send and receive stolen money.  They recruit people with job ads, or make up stories about loans. The point is: they send you money, and you accept the deposit into your own bank account. Then, you send it back to them.  If you get involved with one of these schemes, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble. 

If you tell them your bank account number so they can deposit the money, they could come back later and withdraw money from your account.

This happened to me 1 time and they threatened me if I didn’t do it! I did it then called my local law enforcement. I’m sorry these criminals took $900 in Google Play cards from me. None ever showed on MY GOOGLE ACCOUNT! They used them in less then 1/2 hour. QUESTION: Why can’t our Givernment get any of these people??

You can help the FTC by reporting at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

The comments you submit to the blog do not go into the law enforcement database.

I was scammed for $6985. I posted my resume online to look for a job and the recruiters named Ashley Baker and Armanda Smith interview me for the Personal Manager Assistant for Pitech Incorporation. They interviewed and hired me. In the next couple day, Mrs. Baker informed me about a check is being sent to me. I need to contact the account manager named Mark Freeman to validate the check. I contacted him at this number 1 (325)-701-2619. He told me to deposit the check with the amount of $4985 into my checking account. On the next day, he instructed me to check to see if the fun is available then withdraw all the checks. I thought the check is good and did what he instructed me to do ask part of my job as a personal manager assistant. I told me to transfer the money to Beatriz Marie Cintron in Saint Cloud, Florida. I thought I am working for a legitimate company and didn't expect to get a returned check. On the next day, I received another check with the amount of $9985 through Fedex. And Mark Freeman contacted me again and told me to do the samething. When I asked why do I have to make multiple transaction at different location? Why can't I do it all in one transaction at the same location? He told me that's part of my job to do as intructed. They told me that our vendors that we are working with only accept cashes as a form of payment. When my bank informed me about the returned check, I tried to contact them but everything disappeared. I can't call or find the company's website anymore. I tried to email these people and they didn't answer. Later on, I found out that they blocked my email. I lost everything and the bank place restriction on my account and I also hold responsible for the negative balance including the overdraft fees.

o have been scram by a person in my facebook he said : can you help me keep this money for me , i have to transfer the money from Syria to California and i need your information like full name , address , email, and phone number . i don't know it a scam so i sent my information to them and help them paid the tax clearance 2850 dollar but i only send 400 . after that i found out it a scam i say to them i am not gonna pay money for you anymore, and they said they will give my information to FBI and arrest me because money laundry . can you help me with i so scare right now

Few days ago I put up my item for sale. I sell only for 52 MYR but this person said he send me money 500MYR and is on hold. I have to pay him 438MYR in advance so that the money can be released. Thank goodness i asked for my bank first is it true that the "international banking policy" stated that you must pay the refund first before your money can be released. And my bank said there is no such thiing as "refund first,and your money will be released" kinda transaction. Everyone out there, pls be careful for these kinda scammers. They used an email using "barclays.bank." and saying that they are the official bank. And DONT give them your password too.

I was just today given $2000 in my bank account and the guy is asking me to get 15 $100 Itunes cards to send him the codes and to keep the last 500 for myself. Obviously I won't do that because I smell a scam and I changed my bank passwords and notified my bank of the deposit being weird. But does the money stay there or will it disappear

In Nigeria having people picking up money from other people to sendbout to Nigeria!!! Says its through a church for orphanages!! They call it helping hands!!! Is this a scam or is this for real?

My daughter has been talking to a man online who says he is in the military. He just had her go to Western Union to pickup $700 that his "friend's wife" sent to her and she was supposed to forward it on to his friend. Supposedly the wife is in Poland and cannot Western Union the money herself. After Western Union gave her the $700, she tried to Western Union the money to his friend. Western Union told her that her name was being flagged and that she would not be able to send it because it was going to Nigeria. Now the man is trying to get her to send it to someone in the states. Not sure what to do. He does not have any of her personal information or phone number. They have been talking on an app called "KIK."

Your daughter might be talking to a scammer who recruited her to help transfer stolen money. Some scammers pretend to start a relationship with a person, then ask their new friend to transfer money as a "favor." If you get involved with one of these schemes, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble.

If you think you’re involved with a money transfer scam:

  • stop transferring money
  • tell the wire transfer service about the scam
  • report it to the FTC

Someone is trying to get me and my boyfriend to wire them money through walmart to get us to buy a house where im at but they say theyre in texas and they said they would send the keys to us via mail to the supposed house we were trying to buy. I believe this is a scam the person gave me the walmart to send the money too. I was wondering if theres a fake refrence number that walmart employees know its fake to be able to get someone there to call the police.

When someone you don't know asks you to wire money, it's probably a scam. If you send money, you probably won't get it back, and you won't get any keys either.

DO NOT SEND ELECT- COMPONENTS. COM prepaid wire transfers. They claim to have changed their bank account once the money has been wired and please send another wire to the new Bank Account..>NO!!!! never sent parts never returned my money. OUT $615.00 but could have been worse. Don't send them money!

To report a problem with a business, please go to FTC.gov/complaint. You can provide information about the company, what it promised, and what you received. The information you give goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

The comments you make here on the blog do not go into the law enforcement database.

does FTC have any thing with money gram fraud papers if can you send them to me.

I want to ask about this issue as well! A man from twittet came to me, and. He is offering to transfer 100,000$ for me to continue my education... He is under the name of manuel rulfo.. And he wants me to open a bank account..it this a fraud?

I don't know this man, but this could be a scam. Some scammers develop relationships or offer jobs or loans to people, and ask the new "friend" to open a bank account and accept a deposit. Then the scammer asks the friend to transfer funds for them.  The scammer may send you instructions for transferring money, but that could be stolen money.  If you get involved with one of these schemes, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble. The bank account is opened in your name, with your personal information.

If a scammer deposits a large some of money into my account can I keep it, considering I fell for scam that cost me a lot.

A scammer may ask you to accept a deposit and transfer funds for him. He could be using you to receive and send stolen money. He might make up a story, like saying he is hiring you for a job that requires sending money. If you get involved with one of these schemes, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble.

Please be careful ask questions before you give your information to anyone in the Internet. I just finished talking to a guy that was asking for me to give him my credit card username and password for him to deposit money and then transferred back to another person. You think that should be legal. I don't think so so I started to ask all kind of questions. He endup telling me that is my loss because I am the one in need of the money. Just be careful this guy is in Facebook and his name is Aaron S Edwards. Fron legit entrepreneurship 2017. Account manager at American hope resources. Just be careful please. I hope that the authority do something about it.

What ever you do keep the hell away from MoneyGram . The worst company you could ever deal with . In March 2017 I sent USD$2,000 to my long time ( 20 yrs ) friend in the Philippines . He lives in the lower Islands Zamboanga city . Yet with in one hour someone claiming to be him with fake id in a Manila suburb was handed the money without properly verifying the fake identification used . proberbly a drivers license . We notified the MoneyGram fraud squad in Australia and the Philippines immediately . Every time we contacted them we were fobbed off , they never let you speak to someone in authority , instead they say we will let them know what you said . After months of just plain ignorant decency for a update of circumstances . I finally got a letter from their office in Poland saying everything had now been looked into and was found to be done in accordance with their policy . No refunds for pure neglect in handing over my money to the fraudsters . Thieves with no conscience . WARNING , do not send anything with MoneyGram ever .

I have text message from a woman on Facebook that say's she is from a government agency I won a lot of cash but I need to send money for the documentary and shipping and do it today so I can get it from the ups delivery team

I got scammed by a fake scammer on facebook for 1200.00 who appeared on facebook befriended me and took advantage of me I wish I could get my money back it was through Money Gram in April of 2012

I'm supposedly approved for a $8000 loan but have to pay $175 for the activation of my reference number and I'll get $8175 total back when I cash out. Yeah like I'm gonna send them the money. They said they are from CashNet USA. Roy Miller is his name. I mean scamming people is bad enough. It's even worse when you scam the needy.

Since my grandmother was scammed out of a total of $7000 and it is 2018, I guess Moneygram and Walmart2Walmart haven't done very much "step up anti-fraud programs"!

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