The Most Notorious Online Money Transfer Scams of 2020 – MoneyTransferComparison (Magazine)


Online money transfer scams are still a popular way for Internet criminals to extract money from unsuspectingindividuals and corporations. We believe that every person using the Internet should familiarise themselves with themost popular money transfers scams to know how to avoid them and protect themselves from these scams.Hence, as the leading website for international money transfers, we decided to offer this comprehensive searchable database of allknown money transfer scams. We made sure it is up to date and easy to digest and understand for anyone. Weencourage you to share more scams, if you have encountered them, on the comment section so that we can keep thisdatabase up to date.

View a list of all money transfer scams recorded up to date by Money Transfer Comparison:

  • Careful Who You Trust: EmailsScams
  • Fake Invoices or “Whaling”
  • Supply and Business Scams
  • Job Scams
  • Prepayment Fraud
  • App Fraud
  • Cryptocurrency Scams
  • Fake prizes
  • The Nigerian Inheritance Scam
  • Telephone Marketing Scams
  • Untrustworthy Payment Systems
  • Illegal Services and Goods
  • The Missing Item Scam
  • Vishing
    • Careful Who You Trust: Emails Scams

      Scam Basis:

      victimside

      • Carelessness
      • Digital Illiteracy
      • Inattentiveness

      scammerside

      • Social engineering

      Loss Potential:

      100 -500 USD

      Threat Level:

      Above average

      Oftentimes scam artists will use a familiar email address, such as one that might look like your boss’s or afriend. They will ask for money to be urgently transferred, and the request will come with very specificinstructions or emotional pleas. Usually, the first clue is the emergency nature of the request. Perhaps theyare stuck somewhere and need to catch a flight or pay for a hotel. Other times they may be asking for apersonal favour. The fake situation can be anything, from business to home or family.One of the setbacks of doing business in today’s fast-paced and modernized world is that you may not knoweveryone on your team. Companies and co-workers are often located across the globe and in vastly differenttime zones. That can make verifying an email request, especially one labelled urgent, very tricky ascommunication is often delayed. A good example of this would be a scammer posing as a co-worker and emailingyou for urgent help.When getting an email from a colleague or a friend, be sure to verify with the person through othercommunication means before sending any money. Keep in mind that such attacks can happen using emails youalready know if your friend has been hacked. Also question any “urgent” need for money, and verify with thesupposed sender before taking action.>>>Attention!Such cases are especially dangerous when emails come from real hacked email accounts.

      Key Indicators

      • Being rushed along
      • Uncharacteristic behaviour
      • Request to bypass standard procedures

      How to protect yourself

      • Confirm and doublecheck
      • Communicate via a different channel to verify authenticity
      • Initiate the communication from your end

      Table of Contents View Sorting Filters

    • Fake Invoices or “Whaling”

      Scam Basis:

      victimside

      • Inattentiveness

      Loss Potential:

      100 – 1m USD

      Prevalence:

      Above average

      Threat Level:

      Above average

      In the same way that a scammer may use an email from the head of the company to try to con employees, theycan also target other specific areas of a company. Financial departments can be particularly vulnerable to amethod called “whaling.” This is when a scammer gets their hands on real email accounts within a company anduses them to file fake invoices. Invoices may end up in the hands of other employees or even outsidecompanies. Scammers often use a company’s own letterhead or standardized accounting forms, changing only afew words.If you think an invoice you’ve received has been forged or sent by scammers, always be sure to report thisand verify. Con artists and thieves will move on from a new target only once they’ve been discovered.Otherwise they may try this trick multiple times.

      Key Indicators

      • Altering account info
      • Uncharacteristic behaviour
      • Altering account info

      How to protect yourself

      • Only use verified software you are familar with for payments.
      • Use multi-step payment confirmation

      Table of Contents View Sorting Filters

    • Supply and Business Scams

      Scam Basis:

      scammerside

      • Social engineering

      Loss Potential:

      100 – 300 USD

      With this con, the first step is that a person will be approached by someone claiming to be a representativefor another company, usually offering services and goods. The representative will offer the potentialcustomer all kinds of discounts and promotions, tailoring the sales conditions to make them just right. Inthe end, they will offer to give you not the company’s account to pay but their personal one, using theexcuse of a killer discount or free stuff. Once payment is received, the scammer disappears.This scam is seen the most often and more frequently in the world of crypto-currency. Participants in cryptotransactions are usually anonymous, making it impossible to identify or verify the person posing asa representative of a company except by contacting the business separately yourself.Here is an example of a very common type of scheme. One day my friend received an offer for his Discordchannel. A popular YouTube blogger was offering to make a film about his current work. Their channel hadthousands of subscribers and millions of views, and the blogger was offering all this publicity for anincredibly low amount. The one condition was that a partial pre-payment was required. My friend took it uponhimself to find the Facebook account of the blogger and wrote him personally about the offer. The bloggerreplied that he had no idea what he was talking about. It turned out he never did commercial video offers,and there was no buying access to subscribers. The person claiming to be him had co-opted his name simply forthe recognition.

      Key Indicators

      • Too good to be true
      • Uncharacteristic behaviour
      • Request to bypass standard procedures

      How to protect yourself

      • Be careful with offers that sound too good to be true
      • Avoid unofficial or illegal procedures
      • Communicate via a different channel to verify the authenticity

      Table of Contents View Sorting Filters

    • Job Scams

      Scam Basis:

      victimside

      • Fear
      • Greediness

      scammerside

      • Abuse of trust

      Loss Potential:

      10 – 50 USD

      Mode of engaging:

      Combined

      Employment scams can be particularly brutal as they target vulnerable, desperate populations: the unemployedor those who live on the edge of job security, such as freelancers.There are a few different ways an employment scam can be run. For example, the scammer advertises that theyneed an employee for simple, easy work; all they need is their own computer. The interested victim fills outan application, providing personal information. Then they get a letter from the business in the mail. There’swork available, usually something mundane like typing or copying. But the catch is that in order to receivethe work, the employer requires a deposit from the victim, sometimes to pay for a processing fee or postage.A scheme like this often sticks to small amounts under $20. The victim never receives the promised work, andthe company disappears.Another version of this kind of scam is where the supposed employer requires that a job candidate give themmoney as a security deposit for work materials that never come, like a computer and office gear or a new cellphone. There are also lots of scams hiding out in the many freelancer-for-hire websites. Here, one person candirectly hire another for a specific job, but many times clients disappear before paying, or they refuse topay by claiming the work is bad quality. Because of this, many freelancers will only work with websites thatreserve the payments from the clients before the work starts and hold it in reserve until the work is done.

      Key Indicators

      • A suspicious pretext for requesting money

      How to protect yourself

      • Never provide a deposit or pre-payment for employment
      • Research company information online to verify reputability

      Table of Contents View Sorting Filters

    • Prepayment Fraud

      Scam Basis:

      victimside

      • Sympathy
      • Fear
      • Baseless trust

      scammerside

      • Abuse of trust
      • Intimidation

      Loss Potential:

      1 – 1,000 USD

      Payment systems for services is a tool that scammers love to use. It can also take a few different forms.The Ask: This is a very straight-forward method as it directly asks the victims to transfer money. Sometimesthis is framed as a loan; other times it may be asked under the pretext of pretending to be a non-profit orcharity cause.Blackmail: After hacking into a victim’s accounts or computers, the scammer will threaten to reveal personalinformation or shaming media from the computer. If the victim hopes to stop it, the scammers will force themto transfer funds. It’s a simply, time-tested method, but blackmail unfortunately often works as many peoplefear the repercussions of not responding more than they care to call the police.Fraud: Scammers will sell services or goods but insist on partial deposit being paid up front. Then, ofcourse, the goods do not appear, and the seller disappears. The goods offered are usually low-priced items,which many people will not dispute, such as phone accessories or tights. But this can be seen with high-enditems as well, such as cars and motorcycles. Scammers often seek out ad portals that are buyer to sellerdirect and which do not require full verification of the buyer.

      Key Indicators

      • Being intimidated
      • Previously unheard of
      • Too good to be true
      • Uncharacteristic behaviour
      • Being intimidated

      How to protect yourself

      • Set up email and instant messaging accounts
      • Confirm and doublecheck
      • Avoid prepayment when possible

      Table of Contents View Sorting Filters

    • App Fraud

      Scam Basis:

      victimside

      • Baseless trust
      • Laziness
      • Digital Illiteracy

      scammerside

      • Malware
      • Abuse of trust

      Loss Potential:

      100 – 1m USD

      Mode of engaging:

      Combined

      While companies like iTunes and Google Play do try to weed out the bad ones, fake apps are another way thatscammers collect and steal data. Scammers will design an app that copies the same processes used by mobilebanking and electronic transfers. Logging into the app and filling out a profile will often require thevictim to give up sensitive information like payment card data, birthdate, and passwords. These fake apps areoften very detailed and are designed to appear very real. They offer services like balances, moneyconversion, rollover credit debt, electronic payments, and Internet payments. As the victim sets up theirprofile, they are asked to provide username and password information to their bank accounts or evenelectronic accounts like PayPal.Apple and Google will usually eventually catch a fraud app and remove it from their stores but often notbefore it has claimed more than a few victims.

      Key Indicators

      • Soliciting sensitive info

      How to protect yourself

      • Research company information online to verify reputability

      Table of Contents View Sorting Filters

    • Cryptocurrency Scams

      Scam Basis:

      victimside

      • Baseless trust

      Loss Potential:

      100 – 1m USD

      Most people only know Bitcoin, but there are now many different kinds of cryptocurrencies in the world, andthey are used by people to pay for everything from gaming to shoes.The basis of this scam is that in order to use a cryptocurrency, there is a particular application todownload called the “wallet.” The wallet is used for making calculations. It connects you to the blockchainand allows you to make payments. If a fraud wallet app is downloaded, it can misdirect any cryptocurrencycoming in to the wallet and can empty out the account.There are also many fraudulent cryptocurrency exchanges. These are sites where cryptocurrency can beexchanged, usually for services,but after a user sends payment to the scammers, nothing is returned or givenin exchange.

      Key Indicators

      • Shoddy reputation
      • Request to bypass standard procedures

      How to protect yourself

      • Research company information online to verify reputability

      Table of Contents View Sorting Filters

    • Fake prizes

      Scam Basis:

      victimside

      • Greediness
      • Baseless trust

      scammerside

      • Social engineering

      Loss Potential:

      10 – 200 USD

      Mode of engaging:

      Passive

      Many Internet users are used to seeing these kinds of promotions: An online company announces they will begiving away one free laptop,but in order to qualify for the laptop, you will need to purchase something fromthem, like a cord or headset. The drawing, however, is never actually held, because there is no prize.The fact is, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Before entering any drawings, it is always agood idea to google the contest. If it seems like the contest has been running in several iterations for along time, it is probably not legitimate.

      Key Indicators

      • Too good to be true
      • Being distracted

      How to protect yourself

      • Research company information online to verify reputability
      • Only trust parties you’ve worked with before

      Table of Contents View Sorting Filters

    • The Nigerian Inheritance Scam

      Scam Basis:

      victimside

      • Greediness
      • Baseless trust

      scammerside

      • Social engineering

      Loss Potential:

      200 – 1,000 USD

      By now, most people are familiar with the “Nigerian emails” as an Internet meme. But despite laughing at themin concept, many people still fall for them. The letters are almost always in English, and they tell you thatyou have either won or inherited a lot of money. They’ll tell you that even though you are not familiar withthis family member, they have been watching you and decided to leave you a ridiculous amount of money. Allyou need to do is take care of a small fee to activate the account, and afterward, the company will deposityour funds.This, of course, is not what happens. People who fall for this scam will often fill out paperwork with theirpersonal information to authorize the “transfer” as well as send the money. When the initial scammer is donewith the scam, having received the money, they can also turn around and sell the victim’s info to anotherscammer.

      Key Indicators

      • Too good to be true
      • Previously unheard of
      • Shoddy reputation
      • Suspicious pretext for requesting money
      • Being rushed along

      How to protect yourself

      • Never send money to strangers or unknown companies
      • Never feel rushed into a decision
      • Research company information online to verify reputability

      Table of Contents View Sorting Filters

    • Telephone Marketing Scams

      Scam Basis:

      victimside

      • Baseless trust
      • Frugality

      scammerside

      • Social engineering
      • Fake business

      Loss Potential:

      10 – 200 USD

      Mode of engaging:

      Passive

      It is true that everyone these days seems to have a master class. People have figured out how to get paid foroffering advice and techniques for topics like “Finding Happiness” or “Getting Married Before Thirty.” Not tomention the amount of diet fraud out there offering to help pounds melt off for the price of one class.Of course, we know rationally there are no miracle cures, whether or not we want to admit it. But the appealis too much for many people, and they pay a lot of money for a few videos and a pamphlet. These scams remaineffective because they loudly call out a hole inside of us, a secret shame or aspiration. They sell hope withthe promise of quick, money-back rewards, but there is often nothing to be learned in classes like these thata savvy consumer couldn’t read about on the Internet after one basic search.

      Key Indicators

      • Too good to be true

      How to protect yourself

      • Never feel rushed into a decision

      Table of Contents View Sorting Filters

    • Untrustworthy Payment Systems

      Scam Basis:

      victimside

      • Inattentiveness
      • Digital Illiteracy
      • Baseless trust

      scammerside

      • Fake business

      Loss Potential:

      100 – 1m USD

      Threat Level:

      Above average

      Buying things online is always a risk unless you deal with large, well-known companies. Payment systems canhave bugs or can be easily hacked. Others are simply fraudulent; owners will lie about the reliability of asystem or deceive users about their process.A good example of this is the recent scandal of the StormPay system. The system was designed to be aninternational, open payment option,but it was never able to perform as well as its competitors, andeventually more funds were needed to keep development up. The company simply lied to users and closed downall accounts from specific countries. As a consequence, StormPay became nothing more than an auction tradingportal and eventually shuttered its doors.

      Key Indicators

      • Losing account access
      • Payment delay
      • Shoddy reputation

      How to protect yourself

      • Research company information online to verify reputability
      • Read the latest news about the service

      Table of Contents View Sorting Filters

    • Illegal Services and Goods

      Scam Basis:

      victimside

      • Fear
      • Greediness

      scammerside

      • Fake business

      Loss Potential:

      100 – 1m USD

      Mode of engaging:

      Combined

      Threat Level:

      Above average

      Dealing with the black market is always a high risk for consumers. After all, with illegitimate products,there is no regulation and no consequence for being cheated. Illegal services can include under-the-tableloans, sex work, drug trafficking, and illegal imports. When dealing with this kind of activity, it isincredibly easy for the seller to simply get your payment and disappear, leaving consumers out of luck. Afterall, the victim cannot go to the police without being at risk of being arrested for the attempted illegalpractice themselves. Any black market transaction carries a high risk that you will be cheated, and thereforeit is always safer to stick with legal methods.This wisdom is particularly true for transactions online, as there is even less accountability. But manypeople feel more comfortable attempting illegal transactions because it seems more private or safe since theydo not need to see the person in real life and do not risk being robbed or attacked. Unfortunately, eventhough personal safety might be better, the risk to your financial information is much greater.

      Key Indicators

      • Explicitly illegal offer
      • Suspicious pretext for requesting money
      • Being rushed along
      • Being intimidated

      How to protect yourself

      • Avoid unofficial or illegal procedures

      Table of Contents View Sorting Filters

    • The Missing Item Scam

      Scam Basis:

      victimside

      • Sympathy
      • Baseless trust

      scammerside

      • Abuse of trust

      Loss Potential:

      10 – 300 USD

      Threat Level:

      Above average

      This particularly heartless method will capitalize on the victim’s vulnerability. Scammers will get in touchwith people who have posted about finding an animal or perhaps an item like a stolen bike or cell phone. Theycan find these listings on message boards or posted on flyers. The important part is that the victim hasoffered a reward. Scammers will contact them and offer to return the item but only if the victim pays first.Then, once they get paid, the scammers disappear.Anyone who wants to return something to you out of the goodness of their heart will not demand payment upfront. You should never pay a reward before you have verified that they have your item and you have the itemin hand. After all, a reward is supposed to be an extra plus after the fact.

      Key Indicators

      • Suspicious pretext for requesting money
      • Limited communication

      How to protect yourself

      • Avoid prepayment when possible
      • Request additional proof before payment

      Table of Contents View Sorting Filters

  • Vishing

    Scam Basis:

    victimside

    • Baseless trust
    • Digital Illiteracy

    Loss Potential:

    100 – 1m USD

    This is a new method and is a good example of how online scams are evolving constantly. With this kind offraud, the scammer uses robotic programming to collect information from victims, like card and bank accountnumbers or permissions.Scammers began using IVR (interactive voice responses) a few years ago. The victims are called through theuse of robotic programming. The automatic voice explains they are calling on behalf of the person’s bank fora made-up reason, and because they are robotic, people tend to believe it is actually their bank. To furtherthat impression, the robotic voice can also redirect the victim on the phone to an actual “bank employee” whocan get their personal details to resolve the issue. In this way, scammers are able to collect massiveamounts of banking and credit card data.

    Key Indicators

    • Robocall
    • Soliciting sensitive info

    How to protect yourself

    • Never divulge sensitive information, like passwords.
    • Beware of automated robocalls

    Table of Contents View Sorting Filters

Matt Di Vincere

Matt Di Vincere is a digital content specialist. His main expertise is in the comparison of products, and simplification of complex concept into digestible journalistic pieces. He serves as the main editor of MoneyTransferComparison.com for the past 3 years, and writes some of the content and the reviews, as well as provides guidance to other writers. He is a world affair and history fanatic, especially modern history.

  • Supply and Business Scams
  • Source: https://magazine.moneytransfercomparison.com/money-transfer-scams/

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