The Federal Trade Commission is alerting consumers on "Before You Wire Money."
Excerpt from the Federal Trade Commission article "Before You Wire Money."
Scammers pressure you to wire money to them because it’s easy to take your money and disappear. Wiring money is like sending cash — once it’s gone, you probably can’t get it back. Never wire money to a stranger — no matter the reason they give.
If you need to send money to someone you know and trust, wiring money through companies like Western Union and MoneyGram can be a useful way to get money there quickly. But scammers also find wire transfers useful.
Scammers know that
- once you wire money to them, there’s usually no way to get your money back
- they can pick up your money at any of the wire transfer company’s locations
- it’s nearly impossible to identify who picked up the money, or track them down
Never wire money to anyone
- you haven’t met in person
- who says they work at a government agency like the IRS, SSA, or a well-known company
- who pressures you into paying immediately
- who says a wire transfer is the only way you can pay
Also don’t wire money to someone who tries to sell you something over the phone. Not only will you not have the same protections you would paying with a credit card, but it’s illegal for a telemarketer to ask you to pay with a wire transfer, like those with MoneyGram and Western Union. Report them if they ask you to pay this way.
Here are some common ways scammers try to convince people to wire money:
- Fake Check Scams
- Romance Scams
- Family Emergency Scams
- Apartment Rental Scams