What is wire fraud?
Wire fraud is reaching a historic level. It is fast, final, and nearly impossible to recover once the transaction is complete. So what is wire fraud, exactly? Wire fraud occurs when a scammer poses as a legitimate entity or individual with the goal of having your funds sent to their account. While a wire fraud scheme can take place at any time, scammers make an extra effort to implement schemes when an individual or business is making a large purchase, buying items/goods internationally, sending money to family, or acquiring property. Wire fraud schemes can be complex and difficult to detect, here are some examples of common scams and tips you can use to avoid falling prey.
Common wire fraud scams
- Phishing - The target receives an email or text message from what appears to be a legitimate company in an effort to obtain personal or financial information.
- Telemarketing - The target receives a phone call claiming they have won a prize of some sort. The scammer is trying to collect the targets' personal information so they can "send them their winnings."
- Online Dating Scams - A scammer will create a fake identity to develop a relationship with the target. Once a relationship is established the scammer will ask the target for money.
How can you protect yourself from wire fraud?
- Be Vigilant - Always be suspicious when you receive unsolicited emails, phone calls, or messages requesting personal and/or financial information. Do not click on links in emails or messages that look suspicious and never enter your username and password into websites that are unfamiliar or don’t match your typical login url.
- Conduct Due Diligence - When transferring funds, call or visit the company's official website to check the legitimacy of the sender requesting the wire transaction. When transferring to an individual you know, call them to ensure the account information you received via electronic communication matches with their information.
- Slow Down - Scammers work hard to lull people into a false sense of security, so they don’t take the time to scrutinize requests. They will often pressure you to complete a transfer within a short time period. Always slow down, review the sender’s email address and information for irregularities, and when in doubt don’t transfer funds.
You work hard for your money, don't become a victim of someone else's greed. At Skowhegan Savings, our online and mobile banking platform gives you peace of mind knowing your financial information is secured with cutting-edge encryption. Remember, when making a wire transfer, Be Vigilant, Conduct Due Diligence, and Slow Down.