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How to avoid getting scammed when sending money overseas

A large population of people relies on money sent home by migrant relatives, be it a parent or a child. In fact, according to a report by the United Nations, roughly 1 out of 9 people are subsisting from money sent from an overseas source. Yet while sending money overseas sounds simple and secure enough in today’s highly tech-driven day and age, there are still plenty of con artists out there that scam people from their hard-earned cash. Here are four tips on how to avoid getting scammed while attempting to send money overseas.

Look For an SSL Certificate

A common sign of an unsecured and potentially malicious website is the website’s URL. Does the website you’re trying to send money through have an HTTPS at the beginning? More importantly, does it have an SSL certificate indicated by a closed padlock icon preceding the URL? An SSL certificate is essentially a piece of code that secures the connection between your browser and the remote server it’s communicating with. Secure platforms for money remittance, such as Western Union, will bear this common yet robust encryption feature.

Secure platforms for money remittanSecure platforms for money remittance, such as Western Union and MoneyGram, will bear this common yet robust encryption feature.

Look For Online Presence

Another easy way to gauge the legitimacy and trustworthiness of an international money transfer company is their online presence. Start by checking their “About Us” page or if they even have one, to begin with. Additionally, look for reviews and testimonials left by past customers. Are they satisfied with the service? Go beyond their website and check the customer feedback left for the company on social networking sites, like Facebook and Instagram. These sources are often more informative, specific, and unbiased.

Know When and Where to Provide Sensitive Consumer Data

You shouldn’t be asked about your social security number or banking information when you sign up for an account with a prospective international money transfer company. That part of the process should take place when you are actually setting up the money transfer to India. You should also not be asked to provide sensitive data via email or a social networking site. Lastly, legitimate money transfers overseas should not ask you for your SSN or banking information when you request a quote on service or transactional fees.

Know the Common Schemes

Knowing the common scams that have been reported by other money remittance consumers in the past is a good way to avoid them. One of the most common scams is the fake check scam wherein someone sends you a check and instructs you to deposit the money. The check initially clears and the bank puts the funds into your account. Afterward, the scammer tells you to wire some or all of the money to another account they control with the promise of sending you more checks. Weeks later, the bank then figures out that your deposited check is fake. They can either seize the initial funds back from your account or go after you for repayment if you already withdrew and wired the money to the scammer.

Make sure your loved ones or business partners get the money you’re sending them by using the aforementioned tips. As a final piece of advice, whenever sending money overseas, be patient and thorough and never try to crosscut the process.


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