Money Wire Scams

Wiring money is like sending cash. Do not wire money to people you do not know.

How do I spot a money wiring scam?

Most money wiring scams look like this:

  • someone you do not know asks you to wire money

A scammer might use different ways to convince you to wire money. The scammer might say:

  • you won a prize, or inherited money, but you have to pay fees first
  • you won the lottery, but you have to pay some taxes first
  • a friend or family member is in trouble and needs you to send money to help
  • you need to pay for something you just bought online before they send it
  • you got a check for too much money and need to send back the extra

These are all tricks. When you hear stories like these, you have spotted a money wiring scam.

How do I avoid a money wiring scam?

Scammers are good at being friendly. They also are good at fooling people. Here is how you can stop a scammer:

  • Never wire money to someone you do not know.
  • Never wire money because someone contacted you:

    • even if you feel like you know the person
    • even if the person says he is your friend or related to you

Money Wiring Scams

What if I already wired money to someone?

If you sent money to someone who contacted you, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The FTC uses complaints to build cases against scammers. Any information you can give helps investigators.