Money Transfer Scams

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service recently distributed thousands of checks totaling $46 million to people who lost money in scams that involved MoneyGram, a popular money transfer service.

According to law enforcement officials, from 2004 to 2009, MoneyGram turned a blind eye to scam artists and money launderers who used the company to commit fraud. During that time, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. lost money to a variety of money transfer scams, including fake lottery and prize scams, family emergency scams, and “guaranteed” loan scams.

How do these scams work? Generally, you get a call from someone who says:

  • you won a prize but you have to pay “taxes” on it
  • a friend is in trouble and needs your help
  • you can get a loan — even if you have bad credit — but you have to pay a small fee first

Whatever the pitch, the caller’s only goal is to get your money ­— not to give you something in return.

MoneyGram also agreed to step up their anti-fraud programs. Nevertheless, scammers continue to add new twists to old schemes and pressure people into sending money. Using a money transfer service is like sending cash ­— once you send the money, it’s nearly impossible to trace it or get it back.

Blog Topic: 
Scam Alerts

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