Avoiding Money Wiring Scams

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Imposters. Impersonators. Fakes. Frauds. Phonies. You might call them by different names but these scam artists have one thing in common: they pretend to be someone they aren’t and tell you a bogus story to con you into wiring them money.

The crooks will give you a pretty convincing reason to wire money. They might say you owe the IRS taxes and you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay up. Or that you won a federal grant and have to pay a processing fee to get your money. Some even tell you a loved one’s in trouble and needs your help.

They might tell you to use a money wiring service to add funds to a 16-digit account number they give you—they say it’s your case number or account number, but it’s not. Once the transfer goes through, the money’s gone and you can’t get it back.

Government agencies will never ask you to pay by wiring money. Neither will legitimate businesses. If someone insists you pay by wiring money, it’s a scam. Don’t do it. Instead, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint or 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Want to help the people you care about avoid a money wiring scam? Share this video with them.

 

 

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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Thank you for reporting to the FTC. If you feel threatened, it's wise to talk to local police.

SHOULD I BECONCERNED IF MONEY WAS TRANFERED INTO MY ACCOUT AND A REQUEST TO SEND MONEY GRAMS TO few different people? No money has been taken out of my account so I'm very concerned this may be a scam....

If you give someone your bank account number, they can transfer money in, and they can also take your money OUT.

If you get an email from someone who wants you to receive money in your bank account and then send a wire transfer, don't reply. Some scammers pretend to "hire" people to help them transfer money outside the US.

If you gave your bank account number to someone you don't know, contact your bank and ask how to protect your account.

If you didn't give out your account number, and someone is using your account without your permission, contact your bank and report it.

I applied for a personal loan and this company contacted me back by phone and even sending text saying that I have been approved.

I contacted the company and was sent an email with the loan information. I was also told to pay wire transfer fees in the amount of 207.82 that will be refundable.

Is this a scam? The letter is signed as: Thanks and Regards Danial Gray (C.E.O.)

Sr. Loan Officer Allen Foster

Advance America Pay Day Loan

+1(716)406-4610 Website:- www.advancepersonalloan.com Regulated Loan License # 1299-11384.

Don send a wire transfer or pay for a loan. A legitimate lender won't tell you to pay before you get the loan.

Read the article Advance-Fee Loans to learn more about signs of a loan scam.

I signed up for mystery shopper Walmart & wester Union I just recvd a $2690 check with instructions to cash keep 200 & use remaining 2490 to transfer money using western union then send email to mh85589 with evaluation report. Letter is from task coordinator Mary Rogers 251-207-3628 how do I know if legit

This sounds like the mystery shopper scam, when a con says you're “hired” to evaluate a money transfer service, like Western Union or MoneyGram. They send you a check, tell you to deposit it in your own bank account, then withdraw cash and wire it to someone.

But -- the check is a fake.

Banks have to give you funds from a check you deposit within a few days, but it can take weeks for the bank to uncover a fake check. It may seem like the check cleared and the money is in your account, but if the check turns out to be fake, you have to repay the bank all the money you took.

This article has more about mystery shopper scams.

You can report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint, and to the fraud department of the money wiring company.

Could u check into John McDonald. been sending him over $5800.00. now he said he is sending $5000 this weekend sent money. to Nigeria, next is Commander.David J McKiernan sent money to Qatar. $900 over that much

Don't ever send money to someone you meet online on a dating site or other social site. This FTC article explains Online Dating Scams.

Scammers create fake online profiles. They use photos of other people, and even steal the pictures of real military personnel.  They say they want to visit, but first you need to send money to pay for travel, or fees or some emergency.

Don't send money by wire transfer. If you wire money, it’s almost impossible to reverse the transaction and get your money back. It's even harder to get money back if you send it overseas.

If you think you talked to a scammer, please report to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you report will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

If you used a wire transfer, contact the wire transfer company and tell them the name and location and other details about the scammer.

The European policy in favour of consumers aims to safeguard the health, safety and interests of consumers, as set out in Article 169 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This policy promotes consumers’ rights to information and education, and their right to organise in order to defend their interests.

I was called yesterday and was left a message saying there has been a claim against me for a loan in 2013 for $300. I go back and check my bank statements from 2013 on those dates and no deposit of $300 was made. Then I asked to speak to someone about it, a manager or supervisor from which I was getting a call for and they tell me that it wasn't for the loan they gave me but for JUST APPLYING FOR THE LOAN, THEY CAN CHARGE ME INTERESTS. So I don't receive a loan and they're trying to charge me $630 and if I decline that I will get served with court papers and fees can be up in the $2000.00 range. So you want money from me for just filling out a form? They try to tell me that in the small print they have the right to charge interest...I'm not sure what to do.

This could be a real debt collector. A legitimate debt collector has to give you written proof of the debt. He has to send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe within five days after he first contacts you. The notice has to include the name of the creditor you owe, and what to do if you think you don't owe the money.

These FTC articles tell more about your rights when it comes to real debt collectors.

Or, this could be a scammer pretending to be a debt collector. A fake collector could know some things about you like your bank account number or loans you applied for. A caller may be a fake debt collector if he:

  • wants you to pay a debt you don't recognize
  • won't give you a mailing address or phone number
  • asks for your personal or financial information
  • tries to scare you into paying, by threatening to have you arrested or saying he'll report you to law enforcement

If he calls again, tell him you want written proof of the debt. If you get that, you'll have a better idea about what to do.

A scam artist got me on Facebook. Claiming to help those in dire straits, she could deposit funds into my checking only if I mail my debit card overnight. I declined and she suggested wiring funds via Western Union adding a zero to whatever I sent. I did and no funds, no return calls, and her Facebook page disabled.

So I think I have been scammed from a mystery shopper ad. Is there any way I can be compensated for my Loss. I checked the bank website on the check and all said ok I called the bank and they even told me yes the check cleared so after a week I thought all was ok. Turned out not. I've lost my money. I filed a complaint with FTC and state attorney generals in my state and the other persons state. Is there any way I can get help? Does anybody know please help ? So mad!!

Dishonest promoters use websites and email to get you to think you’re signing up for a mystery shopping job but then it turns out you have to pay a fee. Or you have to deposit a check and wire them money. Find out more about mystery shopping scams here. This article has more about mystery shopper scams.

A guy named Michael Lothar sent me a contract approving a loan. Since I did not have collateral he was going to arrange a small loan that one of his financiers would include a bank guarantee. He would send me money and I was to forward it to a bank in another country. He did not send the amount in the contract it was only a fraction. He said that he had to send it in increments and I was to follow the instructions and keep forwarding it. Something tells me that I would be part of a scam and while I would eventually not get the loan but the money being wire to me was from some poor soul that will never get his money back. I am so confused

This shows signs of a scam: someone you don't know asks you to deposit checks (maybe using your own bank account) and then send money to another person you don't know.  You don't know where the checks are coming from, or who is getting the money.

If you deposit a fake check and send money before the bank finds out the check is are fake, you'll have to repay the bank all the money.  You'll be responsible for depositing a fake check.

If you need money to pay your bills, you can contact the companies you owe, or talk to a credit counselor. This FTC article has information about coping with debt.

Im a fool. I got a call saying that bc I was an outstanding citizen, I was being rewarded $9,200. They said it was from the ARRA. American Recovery Reinvestment Act of 2009 from Obama. I was given an #ID and told to call 347-983-0304 and give the recieving end the #. i was told it was a "no-application grant" being rewarded to only a select 1,600 or so citizens. The man was foriegn and spoke in broken English but he made it sound so official and had an answer to every question I asked. He then told me i had to go get a money gram from Walmart, the Dollar General or CVS for $210 reassuring me that it would be reimbursed. He walked me through everything. He had me send the money gram to a Michael Hester in Largo, FL.33770. I did everything he asked. Then he tells me I should have my check for $9,410 within 2h 47m delivered to my door. Thats when I realized Id been tricked. No gov. agency is gonna hand deliver a check to my house at 9:30pm. Today he called back saying bc I live in PA that I have to pay another $567 bc of a "state-to-state" transfer. Said he would even pay $100 of that fee for me. He said I had to send another money gram. Thats when he hung up on me. Called me back saying I did, not him. Then he and I kept going back and forth. I said I wanted proof this time. He said there is no way to send me proof! I told him I think he's scamming me. Hung up on me. Called me back AGAIN. He played the hang up/call back game at least three more times. Finally, I read him a scam compkaint letter from another person who got the SAME bs line that I got and thats when he finally hung up and did not call me back this time. So now I am out $210! These guys should be in jail!!!!

These are useful details for a complaint. Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The details you give go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

You can also contact the wire transfer service that you used and report what happened.

a guy wants my banking info said he will depoist money in my account then wants me to western union him his share this is the banking info he wants what should I do?

provide this details When ever you are ready BANK NAME     BANK ADDRESS      ACCOUNT HOLDER     ADDRESS ACCOUNT NAME     ACCOUNT TYPE     ACCOUNT NUMBER ACH ROUTING NUMBER

USERNAME     PASSWORD     SECURITY     QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

If you give someone all your bank account information, he can take your money. Just because he says he will give you money, doesn't mean he really will.

If someone you don't know wants to use your bank account, don't do it.

He could send you a fake check, and tell you to take money out before the bank learns that the check is fake. When the bank finds out the check was fake, you'll have to pay back all the money.

 

got a call from 8765282904 they are from jamaica scammers and rude

This person will contact you via text requesting your services for x amount of money, they will agree to anything you say and will pay even more but, then they will ask you for a favor, to make a deposit from those founds to another person once the founds are cleared. BE CAREFUL... NUMBERS ARE 612-213-5927 AND 612-405-2594

Guess these guys continue to find targets because they are still at it after all these years. Could barely understand the thick accent as he plied me with $9200 in free money. Yeah, right! Current # being used by these thieves: 347-983-0304. Relentless even after I told him I worked for the gov & asked him for a contact office & physical location. Elderly father-in-law fell for a similar scheme. Thanks to alert bank officials who thwarted those efforts as he was attempting to transfer funds. Phone threats soon followed. Have this conversation with your elderly loved ones so that they are not caught up in the emotional battle & understand that this is only a scam!!!

My family and I got scammed mon is December2015. Yes right before Christmas. We are moving to Florida so I looked online for a house this gentleman calls me and says that he owns a house and then he dropped the rent from 1550 to 900. At first we sent him $200 and then we sent him $1600 and we did it I am Money Graham that's a lot of money to be scammed out of and I need to know if there's anyway possible to get it back I don't know if this is the new scam or I just never heard of it before what can I do anything for Christmas was totally ruined I have triplet girls and two grandbabies and nobody got anything for Christmas because now we have to look for another house to rent which is more money to put down so if you could help me do anything I would greatly appreciate it thank you so much

Once you send money by wire transfer, you probably will not get it back. You can report the scammer to the wire transfer company, and to the website where you found the ad.

You can contact your state Attorney General’s office, or state and local consumer protection agencies.

This page from usa.gov has information about services to help you find a home. You might find some agencies that can help with affordable housing.

A man contacted me wanting to assist me with getting my children Christmas. Then it turned to you are special I love you all that now he has my account info and has deposited money but wants me to send to his client. From Wal-Mart western union or money gram he is in Washington

Thanks for your comment. This sounds like a scam.

If you give someone all your bank account information, he can take your money. Just because he says he will give you money, doesn't mean he really will.

If someone you don't know wants to use your bank account, don't do it.

He could send you a fake check, and tell you to take money out before the bank learns that the check is fake. When the bank finds out the check was fake, you'll have to pay back all the money.

You also might be interested in reading our blog post, Faking it — scammers’ tricks to steal your heart and money.

Please help, i sell jewelry by catalog and online, i get this e mail from some one who wants to buy from me, she ask me if she can pay by check because she doesn't want to use any credit card information, i told her yes she can do that, but I need at least 3 business day's for my bank confirmed the payment, she agree on that and ask me for my address to mail the check and she also make and order, today i resive this weird email : "How are you doing ? Am so sorry i could not reach you on time, My son fell down from the second floor of the building and he was rushed to the hospital and i was unable to issue out the check...So i have to instruct my debtor to issue and mail out the payment to you because i dont want any delay in this transaction....I had just read from my Debtor,that there was a mistake,because he informed me that he sent out all the amount owing me instead of him to send you the amount for the Item am purchasing from you , I was so mad because i don't know if my money will be safe with you when you got it , I want him to send the remaining of the funds to my art work seller for the art works i needed, but there is nothing i can do ..Am counting on your support , Once you receive the payment kindly deduct the cost of the oreder ans $50 for your self..for any inconveniences i might cost you toward the transaction and wire the left funds via Money Gram to my Art work dealer. I will provide you the info where to wire the left funds to once you might have received and confirm the payment.

1. Can i trust and have confidence in you ?

2. Can you wire the rest of the funds to my Art work dealer via Money Gram or western union ?

Get back to me immediately you received and read this mail

I will always count on you."

I didn't answer, I honestly think is really weird and the fact of ask me to wire the money and offer me to pay for the inconvenience, why just don't cancel or void the check???

This sounds a lot like a fake check scam. That happens when someone offers to pay you for a job, or buy something from you, and then they send a check for too much. They ask you to deposit their check, keep your part, and send the rest of the money to them or a third person.

If you deposit the check, the bank will give you the money in a couple days, but that doesn't mean the check is good.  It can take weeks for your bank to find out a check is fake. If you already withdrew money, you have to repay the bank for the fake check.

This FTC article about fake check scams explains more about the scam and ways to protect yourself.

A nice young man decides he wants to talk to me. He calls me, we talk for sometime. He tells me he is a multimillionaire. He gives me his banking information(not sure if its his). Encourages me to pay a few bills, call him with the confirmation numbers for him to approve at the bank. Then he has me call a corporation to put me on his account to get money from him daily. Sounds fabulous until I have to give personal information & pay collateral on each hundred he approves. The collateral money must be wired and I provide the confirmation number. I purchase a specific reload credit card supposedly get money transferred to that card daily.
The transfer is local, appears he wants to take care of me but something doesn't seem right.

You're right to ask questions about this.

If someone you don't know  - or just met - asks for your personal information or your money, it could be a scam. You say this person wants your personal information and he wants YOU to pay collateral so HE can get money. Those are danger signs of a scam.

Some scammers trick people into helping them commit fraud against a bank, or other victims. You might think you're helping, and end up in trouble. 

Hello I met a woman online. She told me to send her my debit card over express mail so a transfer process through my debit card can be made..she instructed me to have zero dollars to assure me it wasn't a scam. She said I would have 8500$ dollars deposited and mailed back the next day through express mail. Is this also a scam???

If you send your debit card to someone you met online, you can't know what they will do with your card or your bank account.

There is a scam called card cracking. A person will ask you to let them use your account. Maybe they will ask for your debit card, or maybe for your account number. After they get access to your account, they deposit multiple checks and then quickly withdraw the money. They might use an ATM or money orders. They want to get the cash before the bank figures out the checks are phony. If someone runs bad checks through your account, it is fraud, and you're in the middle of it.

I man contacted me stating to be from a loan agency. He told me I was approved for a 1,000 loan. So my friend let me use her bank account he put 398.00 in her account and told us to wire the money back to him before I can get the 1,000. The lady at the bank told us to close that account down cause it was fraudulent and that the money he put in the account we can spend it . now they are asking us to put the money back in the new account. What do we do? Help please

Some scammers will send you a check, and tell you to deposit it, and then send money to them right away. That can cause you problems.

When you deposit a check, the bank generally must give you some of the money within one day. But just because the bank gives you money doesn't mean the check is good. If you deposit a bad check, it can take time for the bank to find out. When the bank does find out the check is no good, you will have to repay the bank.

I've already reported one of these so called companies... But I put up an ad on Craigslist looking for a private lender to assist. Funds are tight and we're having funds issues.
I am now at 30 different scammers and counting. 15 of them asking to wire a "fee" through western union or money gram. One went so far as to send fake loan paperwork and fake ID. He keeps calling my cell phone and hanging up on me. Three of them recently are now saying if I give them my bank infotmation that they will deposit money into my account, to show the lenders that they're serious about giving me the loan. One of these hackers has already submitted information to Equifax saying I have duplicate loans out with them when I don't. How can I report this?

This FTC article explains how to dispute errors on your credit reports.

If someone has your personal and financial information and access to your credit reports, you may want to monitor your credit reports in case they misuse the information. This information from IdentityTheft.gov lists warning signs of identity theft. If you notice any signs, you can return to IdentityTheft.gov for help responding to problems.

Will the scammer come after u if u got there money back and u were told not to talk to them again what should I do I'm scared

I'm not sure why you think you had a scammer's money.

If a scammer told you to wire money to him, and you wired it but then cancelled the wire transfer, you kept your own money. You didn't have his money.

If a scammer sent you a fake check and told you to deposit it and then send him money, he was tricking you. He was trying to make you send him your money before you found out the check was fake. If you deposited his check and sent him money, but then cancelled the transfer, you kept your own money. You didn't have his money.

Ok,I have been talking to this guy for awhile, and yes I sent him money shouldn't have but did. Ok he said hr has a friend that needs help and his friend is going to send me cash and they want me to send it somewhere else I got to send part of it but the other part was declined to be sent. Mind u it was all cash, their cash. So I didn't send the rest. The transfer place told me they were probably lying to me, to get me to send this money. Now I have this money and now I am getting text messages from a so called FBI agent. And they are gonna press charges on me for money laundering cuz I'm not send the money to them. Idk what to do? Please help!!!!

You can call the FBI yourself at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). You can talk with FBI staff who understand this scam, and can advise you on what to do.

The text messages from the "so called FBI agent" may be from the scammers. If you call the FBI yourself, you will know you're talking to the real FBI.

I can't believe the thieves are bold enough to use a real company name. I've done battle with scammers pretending to be collection agents for overdue loans from Ace Cash Express. (Beware of these numbers 347-584-4584 and the ring leader griffin at 210-202-0571.) They have your home address/work number as if you had an contract with them. This guy griffin gave me the color of car I drive. With the fear of being arrested within an hour? I agreed to wire him $1198 out of the $1245 that he originally requested. "Doing me a favor!" Lol. When it got to the part when I asked for my account number? He responded with "just use your social security number!" I refused to go any further. Within 10 minutes or less a woman called from the Alameda Sheriff Dept. stating that she had an warrant for my arrest and I better take care of the debt right away. I told her that I would inform my employer and hung up. Nothing happened. But be careful because this group doesn't give up. Every other day a new caller tries to collect. Even using an Robocaller. This must be big. Can you tell how it's possible for the scammer to have so much information about you? Also How/why are they so sure that they would receive the wire? It's an inside job. Does anyone know how to expose this kind of gangs? Ace Cash Express is aware and doesn't support this group but doesn't seem able to stop them. The thieves are very canny. Be careful don't even talk to because once you've opened the door? They'll never leave you alone. Take care.

These are useful details for a complaint. You can report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

I fell for the same scam with Ace. I was sick and wasn't thinking. I released later after checking online how stupid I was. I should have listened to myself. I still have the funds he deposited in to my account. I didn't send John Adams with an Indian accent his $500 via Moneygram. Instead of closing my account I changed all my login information and security questions. I kept all the emails, phone numbers and such just in case. I did report this the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs and the FTC.

We're they able to take money from your account.and what happened.I think I'm in this same situation.Aram

Have you heard of any scams involving George Straight??

Im selling my car on craigslist for 1200 buck a guy texted who was intrested saying hed send a check and have a guy come get the car .. But not until his check cleared in my account i have recived the check which was over a grad more than i thought it was gana be what should i do cash it and let it clear before i let him take car? Should i report him should i rip up the check i dont know what to do iv heard of people doing this and asking for the diffrence in the asking price and the check back

Some scammers send a check for more than the asking price and ask you to send money back. Other people have written comments here about selling cars, and having a 'buyer' say he wants a 'shipper' to pick up the car.

It takes time for a bank to find out whether a check is good, but the bank has to give you some money within a few days. If you take money, and then the bank finds out the check is no good, you'll have to repay the bank.

I was looking on Craigslist for a loan I called a number and a man answered this is the email he sent me

Yes ,You are require to fund it legally ..NO cash or credit is needed from you to start ,i will mail a check payment to your physical address to validate your loan officially ,then you will have access to full loan accommodations .

Cash it then send PART out for legal process of Documents and procedures meaning first Insurance ,Then you have access to 60,000$ and below for a start . Also for the record ,below information's is needed to process your Loan account. 1:Names:... 2.Physical Address... 3.Requested Amount :.... 4: Duration:.... 5: Valid Phone #:..... 6.D.O.B 7.Email Address........

Do you think this is a scam. He sent me a package but it couldn't get access to it FedEx wouldn't release it I told him and he said he would send me another one that he was mistaken for somebody else.

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