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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We have been receiving calls from this person. He is contastaly contacting us from (512)887-8419 to send him $1000.00. He gave access to the home & key in Texas, using lock code.

You can file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint. Watch this video to learn more about how to file a complaint with the FTC and why it matters.

So I had been in search of a payday loan due to a bump in the road I hit with my disabled father. We are in the process of moving from the current living situation to a better environment for him and our apartment isnt going to be ready for 5 days and I needed a bit of help to cover our hotel stay. I found a slew of payday advance sites and not knowing much I applied to about 5. Within about 30 mins I was getting phones calls and emails, but one stuck out. It looked the most legitimate. So I called the number listed on the email +1- 321-396-5197 and a Indian man named "John smith" picked up the phone and proceeded to ask me very invasive questions right off the bat, ssn, account number, routing number.. It felt weird. I did not supply him with any of my info, but here's the thing he wanted me to go get a greendot card and load it with 110 dollars and call him back. I said absolutely "no" it made no sense for me to send him money when I was the one in need. He said it was a "insurance" clause and if I wanted 5,000 dollars by tonight I would do just that. I said no way and said I was looking up that company "AFSA" and he hung up on me. I looked up further thanks to google and found out they are pretending to be another financial outlet logo and all. They are 100% scammers. I emailed "John" back and stated if my information was sold or used I would take legal action I froze my account and called social security just to be safe. I don't have much but what I do have is mine. So after I emailed him I sent another email along with screen shots of the complaints via the fcc website. I was so mad. Here I am with a disabled father who's mother died last year and I just needed some help. So I got angry today and called that number and lo and behold it was "John" and I told him that he was a disgusting human being and a scam artist. He got loud and hung up. I called back and he then said I had reached a XXX phone service. Ugh.

I just received a email telling me that a relative of mine passed on that has the same last name as I do and no one has claimed the money which is a lie another person who name is george moore saying that he is in fort worth texas and in order for me to get this trunk of 15.8 million dollars that I would have send $100 dollars so how ironic is that this all started last month and keeps on going but the people are different but very similar stories

I just recieved the same email that my brother had died and he left me $42 million dollars, he sent me a death certificate, a deposit of the funds and his account number with his balance. He did not ask for any money he said to send the 3 documents to a barrister and he will get back to me, so I did just that he had the same surename as me so I thought ok this might just be possible. The Barrister emailed me with the price I had to pay which was $22,000, I called back the person that originally sent me the email and I told him that I can't come up with that sort of money and he said he would come up with half the money if I could come up with the other half. I emailed the Barrister and he said he has been compassionate because once I pay the $22,000 he will release the money into my account with a promise letter from me that when I receive the money I have to pay him another $24 thousand. I emailed back the first emailer and I said if we pay this money what promise do I have that he will t run with the money, he said he won't because he is investing $10,000 out of his own money and he knows him well. Could some one give me some advice????

You say that someone you don't know sent you some papers and says you will get $42 million dollars, if you first pay $10,000.

I don't know your family situation, but this sounds very similar to a scam when someone offers a large prize, but tells the "winner" she must first pay to get her "prize." After she pays, the "prize" vanishes.

If your brother has truly left you this money, it is yours. You could take time to investigate and find a way to get your money without paying a stranger $10,000.

The same group did it to me I western union them $110 all I had left at time I was desperate I called them back an they said I needed to send too mor2 for finalising the loan .... it's ironic vause the same company using this number is telling me i have a $666,000.00 USD CONTAINER I NEED TO SEND $275 to retrieve it jokes on them this time you no I work hard for myoney I'm not just handingit over fool me once I won't be fooled twice ... the numberthey use is +16092646604

I send 1000 to someone from the FTC and it was my last idk what to do IMA kill myself

The FTC does not contact consumers and demand money. If you sent money to someone who pretended to be from the FTC, please report it at ftc.gov/complaint.

I have need to receiving my mygrum 8 dighit reference number

hello,i have no call but mail sent to your i am contastaly contacting them receiving mail from theme,for to get us $1000.00 i give to other acccess to the home $ key in tax in Tex

We got one calling and texting me wanting me to send 5'000&500 508 788 4176

I've been had and it is not fun to know that you give away money in hopes of getting a check that is no where to be found.

I've been contacted by a lady with a Auburn, WA phone number telling me to call this other number in Washington DC to get my grant money released. When I did, they asked for money. I told her I would call her back when I had money gram. I never called back. I have received 2 other calls and when I told them I reported them to the FTC, they hung up quickly.
A second scenario happened to my father in law saying he won 9.5 million dollars. They scammed him out of $3500 little by little sending money grams to various locations like North Carolina and Massachusetts. They called him today. They want $800 for taxes on winnings saying 2 US Marshalls, Betty Jones, and Frank Miller will be here at 3:30pm if they get tax money. They gave an address in Miami, FL to send money to. I went on Google Earth to see the address given. It's a vacant lot with 2 run down shacks across the street. I have a partial recording of the conversation, but the FTC said they didn't need to hear it. If a could upload it here I would.
Please don't talk to these people. If you end up calling them back in Jamaica, your phone bill will be through the roof. Just hang up.

Well done alert. Gets straight to the point. keep me posted. Thanks

How do i report a scammer who is trying to fet yet more money from me via Western union?

You can report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

Hlow PTC pls help me came back my money receive me again.pls help again

You can report a problem to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

im in the same situaion ive been scammed already £200 from western union ive reported them to actionfraud

I was scammed out of 600 dollars through western union. I was so desperate and in need of money so badly these people con me say in if I sent them 250 dollars I would 5000 grant back through western union and I never received it. I was so hurt and felt so darn stupid and now I have to come up with 200 dollars fast so I won't loose my apartment with me and my kids.

Same here is there a way we can get it back through them

I recently shopped for a loan online. I got a call from a man who said he was with a company that I had used several times before for short term loans. I "got the loan" but for less than I was looking for. In the wee hours of the morning, I checked my account and indeed the money was in my bank account. I was awakened about 10:00 am from the same man who had "processed" my loan. He told me that if I went to my ATM and withdrew the money and then wired it to him for payment in full, they would give me the larger sum I had wanted to borrow in the first place.

I am an intelligent woman who has had a stroke, is disabled, elderly and living on social security. I was half asleep as this man made his pitch so a few minutes later when my caregiver came in, I got up and asked her to go to the bank and withdraw the money. She even spoke to the man herself when he called while I was giving her instructions.

After my caregiver left, I had my morning caffeine and started thinking this thing through. I called my caregiver on her cell phone and couldn't get through. I left messages and kept calling until she called me back. She had withdrawn the money from my bank and was on her way to go to wire the money, but the man had not given her the instructions on where or to whom to wire the money. He had told her to call him from Western Union when she had the money. I told her to turn around immediately and bring the cash back to me.

Within thirty minutes, a bombardment of telephone threats began. The man I'd been speaking to had gotten into my online bank account and changed my password so that even I could not get in. He had my social security number, bank info etc. and threatened to "ruin" me. One woman called and said she was from the Sherriff's Department and would arrest me if I did not return the money.

I spoke with the bank and froze all my accounts and I couldn't even buy food or get my medications. Because I'm disabled, I couldn't get to the bank right away. I finally took a taxi a few days later and spent three and a half hours with a bank manager, closed my accounts (three out of four under $15.00) and reopened new ones. The check they had sent as my "loan" bounced and was marked as fraudulent. It came out of Santa Monica, CA and was a personal check marked crudely "pay for bill". It was endorsed with the same handwriting. I traced the phone calls back to Washington, D.C. but the phone company told me that it likely it then bounced to a call center in another country. Everyone I spoke to sounded like they came from India.

It has cost me a great deal of time and money straightening this mess out and I still have problems that need to be resolved. For instance, when I closed all of my accounts, I lost all of my bank records. It's a real problem for me not to be able to pull up old bank statements or Payee history, etc.

It's a nightmare that just won't go away. The only good thing that happened is that I kept the cash until I went to the bank in person and was able to cover the bad check these thieves put into my account.

I know it's a long comment, but I hope this doesn't happen to anyone else. If it does, report it to everyone you can think of, including the FTC.

Thank you.

took my am meds.

Oh boy,THOSE people!!! First, the same "loan" scam, then when they asked for money upfront, I said I was no longer interested & hung up. Shortly thereafter these scam artists called me back (the same day) to tell me they had withdrawn the 1st payment of $1,500 as per our "contract". What I'd really agreed to (before I realized I was dealing with scammers) was $150 monthly. I closed my account 1/2 hour later. They got no money. Soon however, I began getting threatening e-mails from lawenforcementunit@ ( free microsoft e-mail) someone was coming to arrest me from my local Sheriff's office, they have a warrant against me for money laundering, wire fraud, blah blah blah...I know my local Sheriffs...and of course there was no warrant, lawsuit, criminal...all baloney. Then came the calls from Copeland, Klein $ Associates in Lockport, NY...same nonsense...I told them I'd checked with the New York Bar Association, no such firm. They never called again.

Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint, and to the state Attorney General’s office in your home state. The information you provide will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations nationwide.

Hi, I got an email from a dawn wilson says she(he,only been emails no call) can give me a loan and needed my info. Well i gave it to her. She sent a check to my bank and my bank is holding the funds since the 7th and to be available today.

Last email was i am to send her 2500of it for the loan fees and she then send the loan. I relied that i assumed that the 3850.00 was the loan. No it is not the loan she said.

When i explained that it was a savings account and would take awhile to be able to get that much out she said the time frame was to long and to go withdraw everything now! The bank is in another state from me and told her it was late (12:30am)and was going to bed. I was told to contact her in morning(yesterday).

At 5:29am there was an email from her to contact her now, i ignored it. Last night i received 2 more emails and havent replied. Havent even looked today. If by chance this is legite check and no paperwork or anything, she doesnt have my address or phone number, what can happen?

Even if the bank makes funds available to you, that doesn't prove the check is legitimate. Banks are required to make funds available in a certain amount of time, but it can take weeks to find out if a check is fake or legitimate.

This FTC article about fake checks explains more. Until the bank confirms that the funds from the check have been deposited into your account, you are responsible for any funds you withdraw against that check. If you take money out too soon, and then the bank finds out the check was fraudulent, you will have to repay the bank.

This happened to me now I'm worried I'm in trouble. Did you get into trouble

This also happened to me to day from an Indian man who said we was the senior loan officer for us bank his name was Mark Williams. I called the numbers back that he called me from and a recording said that the magic jack user was not available. I with drew the money and now he is making threats to me and then he said to send at least half of it back. I am tired of these scam artists. The way I see see it the scammer just got scammed I going to talk with the bank tomorrow and close my accounts and re open a new one

I am so embarrassed because I have fallen twice and have lost many thousands. After being with my husband 30 years I felt so alone and abandoned he left for other woman. I turned to dating sites and just fell for men who were "to good to be true." I have been so angry with myself for letting this happen. I can not believe how I let myself be conned. I am finally trying to get my life to a healthier, and digging myself out of the very deep debt.My money for my retirement alone is totally gone. I cry every day for what I did to my life. I have lost 3 year's and so much money. I still have a loan for a check I deposited and it was fraudulent. My ex-husband had to co-sign a Very large loan. I have too many times for digging myself into such a dark whole.

hi just went thru the same thing. And the bank allowed them to over draft my account. Now bank of america dont want to refund my money. So what can be done about this

Omg , what jerks that's such an ordeal to have gone through .I just wanted to say No one deserves such troubles especially the elderly. I firmly believe what comes around goes around God bless

Thanks to sammsmith for the detailed story. I'm really sorry you had to go thru that. I had a situation with a bank (nothing like this) where at first I clouded the accounts, had the same issue needing payee history, then reopened the accounts but froze the activity-denied all future transactions. That was supported by my bank. I have seen closed accounts reopened a month plus after closing. Hopefully this may still be an option. The banks aren't to quick to suggest options. You just have to ask. Good luck to you.

I receive a message for a person named Michael brown that tell me oil have a loan with them. And tell me them send the document at court and if I don't paid the amount of $1,000 I be arrest. And I tell them I don't take any money with ace loan or cash advance

The person who called might be a fake debt collector. This article tells more about fake debt collectors.

Sometimes a fake debt collector will say you have a debt for a loan you did not take. He might try to scare you to make you pay a debt you don't owe. He might threaten to have you arrested, or report you to the police.

If you know you don't owe this debt, you can stop talking to the fake collector.  Don't tell him your bank account number or credit card, or any personal information.

Im receiving emails stating that I'm entitled to claim an inheritance. Cause I have the same surname due to the entire family dying in a tragic car accident. Haven't asked for any $ yet or my info just to send back to the bank a letter of intent to claim. Do you think its phony?

If you get a call or email from someone you don't know, don't share your Social Security number, bank account or credit card number, or any personal or financial information.

Some scammers try to trick people by offering a prize or reward or inheritance before they ask for your money or information.

If you give someone your bank account number so they can "deposit your inheritance" they can take your money instead.

Good to know stuff

I let all calls go to my recorder unless I recognize the caller ID. This has reduced the number of scammers, I never talk to strangers anymore. If they never get an actual person, they move on to someone that answers every call. If they have legitimate business, they will leave a message. Most of the people I know now do the same.

I receive a phone call this morning from 732-645-3789. That's a New Jersey phone number. I have no compunction about putting this phone number out there because the two men I spoke to on the phone had zero problem with threatening me with arrest and detention if I didn't pay them almost $5,000 immediately because they were from the IRS.

They were, of course, liars. But, I was plenty scared.

I am also getting calls from Mark Brown, John Davies, Mike. They say I have loan and I am to send by Money Gram $770 or I will be arrested. They said I have till tomorrow. I am to call on my cell out side of walmart to them and they will tell how to send it to them. I am not going to do it. I was told it is a scam by the Better Business Bureau, FTC. They call 3 or 4 times a day. So I am going to block them.

These details would be useful in a complaint. Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint, so we can add the information to the database that law enforcement uses in investigations.

Blog comments aren't entered in the law enforcement database.

I have a client who received mail from supposedly an agency he was supposed to get over a million dollars for research I told them this was most likely a scam. Has anyone else had this issue? He said it was Mayo Clinic

This could be a scam. Some scammers use the name of a well known group, or even pretend to be from the government.

Other signs of a scam: they ask you to pay before you get your 'prize,' or they ask for your bank account number so they can 'deposit' your winnings. If you give someone your bank account number, they can take your money.

You can learn more about Prize Scams in this FTC article

I recently meet someone on a dating site, spoke often by calls, txts and emails. They said they are a successful business man who had to be out of the country for a contract job. They have not asked for money but did need to deposit money into my account due to restrictions on amount permitted back into the US without filling out forms with FDC. I have received deposit and this person would like me to send money grams to several "employees" for completed the job. Should I worry this is a scam? I just cant tell....please any thoughts are welcome....

This story has some signs of a scam. To start, this person says he wants to use your bank account to get around the law.

Some scammers use dating sites to meet people and build up a relationship, then they start asking for "favors." They might ask to use your bank account, or ask you to make wire transfers.

If you give someone your bank account number, he can put money in and he can take your money OUT.  If you gave someone your bank account number and you're concerned about what he'll do, report this to your bank.

Well I was scamed by a man on facbook wanted to deposit money in my acc and he did mo ile depodit wanyed me to send it to his workers to a address in nigeria
I di d he se t more money a c it boiled down too I stoled his mo ey it had been gotton a d no I did t
I got threats on y life and fa.iley so he wrote hea kes thay came back forgery
znd it toom my mo dy z f a and now looki v at over two thousa d dollers im voi g to owe the bank what can I do

It sounds like he gave you a fake check. Read the article about Fake Checks for ideas about how to avoid this scam. Most important: don't deposit a check from someone you don't know.

Federal law requires a banks to give you money within a certain time when you deposit a check. But the bank might give you moeny before it finds out the check is a fake. It can take weeks to investigate and learn a check is fake.

You are responsible for the checks you deposit. If you deposit a fake check and take money out, you have to repay the bank.

If you used a wire transfer company to send the money, call the company and tell them the name and address of the person who called you.

I friended this guy on facebook he text me few month never met in person he said he wanted to help me with my bills An he knew a person in Pennsylvania. I told him it was a scam. Nono he said so the person in Pennsylvania sent me 900 then 499 in my name thru money transfer. Few day later he text me want the money back or fir me to send it to someone in Nigeria. Now he trying to say I scam him but he sent the money to me cash in my name any advice I have reported my situation to FTC. The Local police cause now the person is threaten me with text. Any advice

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

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