Knowing how to avoid and prevent scams is key to a strong, financially fit consumer.
For Consumer Protection Week, the FTC has a number of resources and suggestions for you to use to help stop scams by raising awareness among your communities! If we work together and know the red flags, scammers don't stand a chance! So, what are some tips to protect yourself?
Avoiding Money Transfer Fraud
Companies that offer money transfers deliver a useful service, however, money transfer fraud, or wire transfer fraud, occurs when scammers convince consumers to send them money and then do not deliver goods services or value promised.
It's especially important to know who you are sending money to first. Problems occur when you authorize the delivery of funds to individuals you don't know, or to organizations with questionable backgrounds.
But there are risks: particularly when you don't know who you are sending the money to. Keep in mind, money transfers are the same as sending cash. Once you send it, it's gone, and you can't get it back.
Anyone can be at risk of money transfer fraud. Scammers target everyone. They look for people who appear to be vulnerable, are unfamiliar with the scheme, and are trusting of others.
Signs of Money Transfer Fraud
Here are some common "red flags" that may indicate a scam: if someone you don't know asks you to wire money to them, asks you to deposit a check and send them back a portion of the money, pretends to be a friend or relative claiming to be in a crisis, and asks you to wire money to them right away, or tells you you've won a prize or contest that you don't remember entering, and asks you to wire money to pay fees, taxes, or customs to receive your prize.
Next Steps After Being Scammed C
ontact your local police immediately! You can also report suspected incidents by:
Submitting an online report to the National Consumers League's Fraud Center
Filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or call toll free 1-877-FTC-HELP
Contacting the Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC). The ICCC is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. Try to provide as much detail as you can, including dates, times, and names if available.