Est. 2007

How International Money Transfer Scams Work, Part 1

Sending money abroad is a safe, secure process when you go with a reputable transfer agency like ACE-FX.  It's easy enough to ensure that you're placing your money in the hands of a credible company because there are plenty of ways to confirm trustworthiness:

  • - Ace-FX's TrustPilot score
  • - Partnership with MoneyCorp
  • - Positive reviews from MailOnline and The Independent
  • - Physical branch locations where you can meet us and ask questions.

But none of this will protect you from losing your money if you're the victim of a cheque-cashing scam where you're asked to send money abroad.  ACE-FX will protect your money and your personal information for all your transactions, but we'd also like to help protect you against fraud. The first thing you should do is learn how these scams work.

How international money transfer scams work.

If you're sending money abroad because you've been contacted by a stranger who needs help cashing a cheque, then you're probably caught up in a scheme to steal your money. The scheme can take many forms, but they all end up having the victim sending money abroad through an  agency like ACE-FX or Western Union. That's why we'd like to help.  Below, you'll find the most common types of international money transfer scams so you can learn to avoid becoming a victim.

Types of international money transfer scams.

Here are some of the most common foreign money transfer scams:

  1. Craigslist scams.  Probably the most prevalent of international money transfer scams is the Craigslist cheque-cashing scheme.  Each and every scam that follows on this list can happen through Craigslist, so learn to recognize the signs of fraud.  They are:
    1. - you get an email from someone that's not local to your area (usually they are in another country)
    2. - they can't meet you face-to-face
    3. - an international money transfer is somehow involved

  2. Internet Purchase Scams.  If you're selling something online, watch out for this type of scam.  A fake buyer will mail you a cheque for your product, and that cheque will be for an amount that's way over the agreed-upon price for the item you're selling.  Then comes the scam part: they have a flimsy excuse for over-paying, and ask you to simply deposit the cheque in your bank account.  Then, you are supposed to electronically send the excess payment back to them (that's where we unknowingly come into play, of course).  In the meantime, the bank eventually figures out that your cheque was fake and you're on the hook for the entire amount.

  3. Advance fees.  Have you been contacted about a loan?  International money transfer scams also come in the form of loans with prepayment terms (these can also be domestic transfer scams, of course).  You are sent fake documents in the mail or via email, offering you a loan.  But before you can get the loan you must pay fees.  Victims transfer the money but the loan never materializes.

  4. Inheritance scams.  These are similar to the loan're paying for something up front in hopes of receiving a large chunk of money later on.  They'll contact you to help them cash an inheritance cheque, and in return you are paid a "fee"...but only after you've transferred money from your bank to theirs! And of course that's where we run into these scams since these transactions are usually done electronically.

  5.  Employment scams.  Here, the victim is answering an ad for a job that seems just too good to be true.  Often it's a work-from-home job which promises a surprisingly high income with no experience necessary.  In the end, however, the victim has not only fallen for a fake job offer, he's often lost all his own money in the process.  That's because they've been sent a fake cheque to start up their new business.  They buy their supplies, then send the rest back to their new employer, who is conveniently in another country so an international money transfer is required.

In each case above, you'll notice the need for someone abroad to receive your money quickly...that's because they want your money before they're revealed as a scammer!  And they're in another country so there's no question about the impossibility of meeting face-to-face or easily mailing them a cheque instead of using a money transfer. That means in each case, you're being asked to send a foreign money transfer.  Hopefully now that you're armed with this information, you won't become a victim.
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