Western Union, a leader in global payment services, is offering the latest information and tips on common Internet scams in a move to help protect consumers from becoming victims of fraud.
“Internet scams succeed based on the fraudster’s ability to earn their victim’s trust,” said Joseph Cachey III, acting general counsel and chief compliance officer of Western Union. “Many fraudsters even coach their victims on how to safeguard their funds using a money transfer service, which supports the aura of trust they try to create.”
“Unfortunately, these extremely convincing appeals, combined with a ‘once in a lifetime’ deal, create a very powerful potion that some people find too difficult to resist. People need to set their emotions aside, understand the facts of the situation and not send the money.”
Beware when a buyer reaches an agreement to purchase an item from a seller (the fraudster) via the Internet. The seller requires payment through a money transfer service, such as Western Union, and picks up the funds using a professionally produced fake ID. The promised merchandise is never delivered.
‘Failure to Deliver Merchandise’ scams usually have one or more tell-tale signs:
- The merchandise being sold may be offered at a surprisingly low price.
- The seller will require that payment be made only through a money transfer service; possibly even suggesting ways of safeguarding the funds such as using a “test question” in lieu of an ID.
- The seller will work hard to gain the buyer’s trust by being friendly, identifying shared interests and offering convincing explanations as to why a price is so low or for requiring payment only through a money transfer service.
Western Union provides a trusted and reliable way for people to send money to family members and friends. Unlike a bank, Western Union doesn’t open accounts for the people who use its service. A money transfer can be paid out to the receiver within a short time – even minutes – and after the money is paid, consumers cannot obtain a refund from Western Union even if the transfer was the result of fraud.
“Fraud is an industry-wide issue and preventing it is a shared responsibility among law enforcement, consumers and the corporate community,” said Cachey.
Consumers should be particularly careful when using money transfer services to make purchases through Internet auction, marketplace and classified ad sites, such as eBay, Dubizzle and Souq.com, he added.