If you run into a seller who only accepts Moneygram and WU as payment options you will see it is most likely a fraud. When you make a payment via Western Union you need a name, address and country of the receiver. The fraudsters will in many cases tell you that you can hide the “secret number” and only show him a printed proof of payment and he will send out the goods. This supposed “secret number” is only a control number to track the status of the order. It’s called MTCN (money transfer control number) and the receiver can pick up money without it. The best thing to do is if we look at an example. Lets say you are paying a person with this name:
Dr. Patrick Krieger
Arthur Avenue 143
Now you think only this person can pick up money you have sent, but in fact your money can be picked by a China guy in Shanghai. Western Union has been created mainly for the reason you could send money if a friend got mugged or somehow run out of money in a remote destination or another country. If your friend is out of money there is a high probability he can also be without a personal ID or other official identification documents. So you don’t need an ID to pick up the money. When you are filling the form of Western Union you can require for the receiver to identify themselves, but then again, it can be picked up without the ID.
I shouldn’t tell you how easy it is to fake an ID in photoshop. With little practice and graphical skills you can create a false official document in an hour or you can order one in underground internet. Templates and scanned official documents can be obtained online you only need to change a picture and type in the desired name. A bank employee will surely not have the knowledge to recognize this fake ID and if by chance he does you can just go to the next WU agent.
Don’t get fooled with the MTCN trick. Thieves often repeat you can hide the Secret MTCN and after you have received your package you will release this number to them so they can pick up funds. MTCN, Money Transfer Control Number is nothing but a CONTROL NUMBER with which you can track the process of your money online. Is your bank still processing your order? Have the funds been picked up? It only is a number to check the status, so the receiver doesn’t need any MTCN to pick up the cash. If someone tries this on you, immediately stop any transaction or deal offer because it is definitely a scam.
If you know the person you are sending your money to, then western union can be the best option to send out money. For example, a family member is in a distant location and lost his ID and is out of money. No, problem you just send your support money via western union and he will be able to pick it up without problems. Also good if you are sending gifts or payments to reputable sellers that you thrust. A very fast option of payment, since the receiver gets his funds only hours after you sent it, anywhere in the world!