Many people send money overseas to help support their loved ones or invest in businesses. Mostly, these transactions are legitimate, but scammers sometimes try to trick people into sending money to them instead.
Sending Money Overseas
Keep a few things in mind to protect yourself from scams when you send money overseas.
Use a Reputable Money Transfer Service
Whether you plan to send money to the Philippines, Mexico, Colombia, India, New Zealand, or somewhere else, it is essential to use a trustworthy money transfer service. Seek out a company with these qualifications:
- Licensed and regulated
- Excellent track record of safe and secure transactions
- Positive reviews and ratings
- Lack of red flags
Red flags in a money transfer service include pressure on you to send money, a lack of customer support, high fees, and low exchange rates. With a reliable money transfer service, the fees should be in line with others in the market. Exchange rates should also track with the market.
Verify All Requests for Money
Someone may reach out to you claiming to be your cousin needing money to be bailed out of jail. Scams abound, so it is always a good idea to use methods that are reliable to verify any claims. For example, you could call that cousin directly after getting the email allegedly from him and double-check what is going on.
Scammers often pretend to be a friend or family member, a business partner, or a government official. They can even work together with one pretending to be a grandson in trouble and the other pretending to be his lawyer.
Learn More About Common Scams
Examples of common scams include romance, lottery, and fake charity. Being aware of how they work helps you recognize them and not fall for them.
Protect Your Personal Information
Your personal information is valuable to scammers and identity thieves. They can do a lot with bank account numbers, credit card details, Social Security numbers, and much more. Never give this information to people you do not know. Be careful sharing it even with people you trust.
If there’s not a good reason for someone to know your credit card number, do not divulge it. Also, limit what you share on social media and through email.
Beware of Unsolicited Offers
“Announcements” may come out of the blue through unsolicited phone calls, emails, or social media messages telling you that you’ve won a prize. You never entered a contest, but these scammers hope the lure of the prize causes you to pursue the reward.
Before you can get your prize, you must turn over personal information or make a payment of some sort. Beware of these situations especially when you do not remember entering anything.
Confirm that everything is legitimate before you take any action, and verify from your end (such as typing in URLs yourself or doing Google searches yourself). If you try to verify via clicking a link in the email announcing the prize, what you will see is probably a continuation of the scam.
Sending money overseas can be a great way to support your loved ones and invest in various opportunities. However, you must remain vigilant and protect yourself from scams.