These days, it’s possible to do more things online than ever. This includes many things involving your finances. Transferring money is even easier than ever, but with all the perks come certain dangers, namely, those involving scams. It’s important to know how to protect yourself by using these five tips to avoid falling prey to a money transfer scam.
Common Money Scams to Avoid
Unfortunately, scams have vastly increased in the past few years. The main goal of the criminals is getting your money. As a result, it’s important to know what to look out for and which money scams are very common. If you know about these scams, you have a better chance of avoiding them and holding onto your precious finances. These are some of the most common money scams:
- Money mule scam: This is a money scam that involves attracting people to remote jobs or online dating services. If the victim falls for it, the scammer requires them to send a check to someone else. It can lead to people losing a lot of money.
- Fake check scam: This scam occurs when someone sends you a check and instructs you to deposit some of it and wire some back. The check is fake, which leads to a problem when the authorities investigate.
- Tax scam: This scam occurs when a criminal uses phishing emails to impersonate the IRS. The goal is to get sensitive personal and financial information from the victim and makes threats of jail time or penalties if the victim doesn’t pay.
- Investment scam: This scam involves promises of lots of money coming your way. A good example of this type of scam is the Ponzi scheme.
Tips to Avoid Common Money Transfer Scams
It’s important to use certain tips to protect yourself from money transfer scams. This is essential if you regularly transfer money online so you can use your wits and fight back against becoming a victim. Use the following tips to stay safe:
- Never wire money to a stranger: Many have fallen prey to online money scams through email. One of the most common is the “Nigerian prince” scam. As a rule of thumb, if you don’t know the person and they ask for money, don’t fall for it.
- Never give out financial information: Avoid giving your financial information to a person or business you don’t know. Sometimes, Be on the alert at all times. You may get an email or text message claiming that your account with so-and-so has been compromised or suspended due to suspicious activity or some other reason. This is only to trick you into providing information or clicking a rogue link.
- Never click on links in emails: Avoid clicking on links in emails that seem suspicious. Even if it seems to be from a reputable company, be smart and know what’s legit and what isn’t. If you aren’t sure, the best thing is to not click anything.
- Avoid shopping with unfamiliar online retailers: Don’t shop with online retailers unfamiliar to you. Stick with those that you know are legitimate.
- Ensure websites you access are safe: If you have to enter financial information into a website, always ensure it’s safe first. The site should use encryption and have privacy rules to ensure safety.
- Only donate to known charities: If you get an email solicitation for a charity seeking donations, research it first. Make sure it’s a legitimate charity and not a scam. You can search for legit charities on the IRS website.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, criminals aren’t going away anytime soon. With technology advancing tremendously every single day, it seems that a new online scam emerges daily. As a result, it’s essential to be more diligent than ever in staying smart and staying safe. Always make sure you are able to spot a scam. If something appears even slightly suspicious, there’s a good reason for that.
When you know what to look for and use these tips, you will keep your financial self safer.