With wire fraud increasing money-transferring companies Western Union and MoneyGram are now giving their employees the right to reject transaction if they suspect customers are being scammed.
Western Union instructs employees to look for
- people excited about a sudden windfall
- elderly citizens repeatedly transferring funds.
Many are getting scammed right now because times are tough in our economy. Many are jumping at opportunities that often seem “too good to be true” — often because they are. Money-transferring companies are now jumping on their customers to make sure they’re playing it safe.
Granted, Western Union and MoneyGram employees are not here to play babysitter but it may have prevent future scam and fraud victims. Claudia Beach of Jacksonville, Florida sure could have used some help after falling to a scam aimed at grandparents earlier this month. In fact, the employees at Western Union even warned her that she might be getting scammed! Now, they can deny the transaction.
The problem with this is what’s to stop an unsuspecting and headstrong person from going to another location to try and give their money away? Absolutely nothing. The employee at another location may not catch a whiff of the fraudulent smell on their transaction like the previous one. If someone really wants to give away their money, they’ll give away their money. On the flip side, this could be a huge inconvenience for those not being scammed but an employee thinks that they are and deny their transaction.
The FTC Warns Of What To Watch For
Con artists are working harder than ever to persuade victims to part with their money via wire transfers. Below are tips on how to avoid some of the most popular scams.
Family emergency/friend in need: Call the person, because e-mail accounts are often hijacked in this scam. If someone calls, ask personal questions to make sure they are who they say they are. In a genuine emergency, send money directly to that person and never to a third party.
Mystery shopper: Refuse this and all job offers from a potential employer that require depositing a check and wiring funds, even if the assignment is to “shop” a money transfer agency.
Lottery scam: People don’t win lotteries they didn’t enter, and government employees don’t call to inform someone they won. Never cash a check and wire funds to claim any winnings.
Disaster relief scams: Legitimate charities will take checks and credit cards. Don’t wire money for relief efforts, especially to an unknown party.
Sweetheart scam: Run from someone on an online dating site who quickly professes their love, builds trust and then starts asking for money. Both your money and your sweetheart will soon be gone, usually in that order.
Advance-fee loans and credit cards: Never wire money in advance to obtain a loan or credit card. – Source.
At the end of the day it’s up to the consumer to make their transaction or not but the introduction to the ability to reject transactions may help prevent future scams. Now, if we could just get our waitresses to deny the ordering of bacon to suspected victims of high cholesterol.
If you have been scammed and would like to file a scam report, please click here.