While Envoye does everything it can to keep all of your money transfers safe online, unfortunately fraud can still operate online and innocent customers may be exposed to scams. We have complied a list of a few typical fraud scenarios below so that you can stay informed of common industry scams and protect yourself from being vulnerable online.
You’ve met someone caring and intelligent online, but you have never met them in person. You may have been speaking for several months over email, and may even have had a conversation on the phone. They have promised that you will meet soon, but unfortunately they live in another country. Once they have gained your trust, they may suddenly have an emergency and need some funds transferred to them. This might not be a lot of money to begin with, but the requests start to get larger. Someone they care about is ill, and needs money for medical bills. This is not the person that you think it is – it is an online scam artist that has been slowly gaining your trust in order to deceive you and eventually rob you of your money. Do not send money to someone that you have not met in person.
You’ve been sent an email informing you of the fantastic news that you have won the lottery. It’s a lot of money, and you are so excited by the news that you can not remember whether or not you entered the lottery or such a competition. In order to receive the money, you need to send some money first in order to collect the full cash prize. Does it sound right? No. Always listen to your instincts. You would never have to pay in order to receive any money that you have won. This is a common online scam.
Someone in your family is travelling abroad and contacts you as they have run into some trouble and need some money. The email sounds convincing enough, but you can’t remember if anyone in your family really is travelling. They have asked you to send money. Don’t do it – this is a common online scam. Only send money to people you know and trust, and always verify the identity of someone before you send them money.
You have been searching the internet recently hunting for an amazing deal for a new car. You suddenly find an amazing deal online for the car that you have been looking for at a much lower price than anywhere else. You contact the seller and you are asked to secure the purchase at the reduced price by making a down payment through a money transfer service. You should never use money transfer services to pay for purchases or goods or services online, this could be a scam. If you send money this way for this purpose then it can be very difficult for you to get your money back.
You have found an amazing deal online for a new apartment, but the lessee is actually a scammer and they have asked for you to pay the first months rent with a money transfer for an apartment that does not exist. Be very careful when you are shopping online and someone asks you to send money via a money transfer. This can happen with any kind of online purchase – a holiday rental, a timeshare, a new dog. Never wire money for any online purchases you are planning to make using a money transfer system. You will not get the goods you have purchased and you will not get the money back either.
A recent natural disaster has left an entire community in ruins and you want to do your part by making a generous charitable donation. Unfortunately, natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes are often used as leverage for scam artists who set up fake charities online to support these causes. They also want you to send the money via an online transfer. Do not send money to a charity this way. All reputable and registered charities will have their own bank account information and they will not ask you to send money via a transfer. When in doubt, always contact the charity you are considering supporting and find out exactly how they work and what it is they will be putting the money towards.
This kind of fraud can happen in many different ways, but it is important to know that a third of online fraud victims are aged 60 or older. Always be careful sending money online to anyone that you do not know who may offer you promises such as home improvements, estate planning or retirement funds. Never let a stranger know anything about your finances or assets as they may be taking advantage of you for fraud.
If someone has asked you to send money because you have been guaranteed a credit loan then be careful. It is highly unlikely that you would ever be asked to send any money upfront in order to receive a genuine credit loan and this is likely a scam.
The best way to protect yourself from online fraud is to be wary of the various scams that operate online and to never send money to someone that you do not know or trust. Similarly, do not send money to anyone in exchange for goods and services.
If you believe that you have been the victim of an online money scam, then the first point of call is to contact your local police department and to file a report of the incident with them.
The more fraud is reported the better. This ensures that the authorities have the information that they need to be able to tackle online crime as well as helping you to keep safe.