In 2016, Australians lost over $83 million* to scams. $83 million dollars! That’s a bucket load of money!
Unfortunately, sometimes people try to use the MoneyGram money transfer service as part of their scams, by telling fake stories that try to get you to send them money. We would hate for that to happen to you, and our FXperts are always on the lookout for new scams so that we can protect our customers.
But, to help you protect yourself and ensure you don’t become part of the above statistic, we wanted to let you know what scams we commonly see using the MoneyGram service so that you are more aware and can avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
Did you find a great deal for a car on Gumtree? Or maybe you found the cutest puppy for sale online? But, the seller has asked for a deposit to be paid by money transfer. This is most likely a scam – you send the money (which once sent, you can’t recover), but you never see that car or that puppy, or whatever else you may have purchased online.
We’re a sucker for romance as much as the next person, and in this day and age, it is so common to meet someone online. But unfortunately, an internet romance is also a common way for scam artists to find their next victim.
If you have met someone online, and have not yet met face-to-face, be careful if they ask you to send them money. Some of the telltale signs you can look out for include:
“Congratulations! You have won $5 million in the Facebook Lottery!”
First of all, there is no such thing as a Facebook lottery. Second of all, if you don’t remember entering the competition or buying that Lotto ticket, then you probably didn’t. Thirdly, if you have to send money anywhere to claim your prize, then it’s most likely a scam.
This scam is pretty common over email and you’ll generally be asked to transfer some money to pay taxes or custom fees for your prize, or you’ll be asked for your bank details so they can send the money to you.
This scam is done in a number of different ways. Sometimes a “lawyer” or a “police officer” calls you to say they are with a relative of yours who is in trouble – they have been detained overseas, have been in a car accident or have a fine to pay – and they need financial assistance. Or, a stranger contacts you and tells you they have been robbed and they need money sent to them to pay for bills or to get home.
Whatever the situation, it is designed to make you feel the person is desperate - they want to get you to send them money without you overthinking it. Because once you do think about it, you’ll realise that it's most likely a trick.
During times of floods, earthquakes and other disasters, people sometimes try to take advantage of those that want to help out. A common ruse is one where a “charity” asks you to send money towards disaster relief, but the money never gets anywhere near the disaster victims.
When using the MoneyGram money transfer services, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you don’t fall victim to a scam:
At Travel Money Oz, our FXperts are trained in what to look out for and how to identify scams, so when you’re processing your money transfer, they may ask questions like who you’re sending the money to and why. They’re not being nosy. They’re just trying to protect you.
But, sometimes, despite all efforts and best intentions, people do fall for scams. There are a few things you should do if this happens to be you:
These are by no means all of the fake stories that get used by scam artists, but hopefully by being more aware of how scammers try to take advantage of people and misuse the MoneyGram money transfer service, you will be able to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of fraud.
When you are online, be aware of who you share your financial or personal details with, and stick with the basic rule when it comes to money transfer services – never send money to a stranger!
*From ScamWatch - https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/about-scamwatch/scam-statistics
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