Like most people, you probably wired money before. Unfortunately, there are many ways fraudsters can use wire transfers to their advantage.
According to the Attorney General of Texas, wire transfers are convenient and easy for scammers to exploit.
Signs of a wire transfer scam
If you feel any suspicion towards the request, treat the request as a red flag. One of the most significant signs of a scam comes from an IRS call. The IRS does not call individuals and if you receive a call from the IRS asking you to wire money or threatening you with arrest, the person on the other line is a scammer.
Another sign is if someone sends you a cashier’s check or personal check and asks you to cash it first. Scammers may say that the check is a prize or for a job. They claim you have to pay a processing fee from the check, however. Unfortunately, the check is never real.
Ways to avoid a wire transfer scam
Do not wire money to strangers. If a family member requests money, you should confirm it before sending any money. Some scammers disguise their voices or use email addresses that appear connected to your loved ones. Many scammers can learn details about family members through the internet.
Do not wire money to other countries unless you know the person living in the country. If you see multiple spelling errors or if a stranger asks you to send money overseas, do not listen. Even American scammers will ask you to wire money outside of the country.