Wire Fraud – Wire Scam

Wire fraud is defined as attempting to defraud using electronic means, such as a computer or telephone. What must be proved is that the person knowingly and willfully devised or intended to devise a scheme to defraud. Since the advent of the internet, there are literally thousands of crimes that fall under the definition of wire fraud. Here we’re going to take a look at some of the more common forms of wire fraud, why they occur, and how you can protect yourself.

Wire Fraud

Wire Fraud In Banking

While security measures have certainly increased over the years, banks still fall victim to wire fraud, costing them millions of dollars or more every year. Since banks are constantly wiring extremely large sums of money back and forth between accounts, it may take them awhile to notice when a large sum of money goes missing. This type of fraud is usually perpetrated by insiders who forge documents a wire money to foreign accounts. Other common ways this can occur is via the internet, through fraudulent activity such as stolen identities, stolen credit card numbers, and hacked internet banking accounts.

Wire Fraud On The Internet

The internet is a haven for con artists. A great example of wire fraud on the internet is commonly known as the “Nigerian”, or the “419 scam”. There are many other forms of wire fraud that may occur on the internet. A few common ones are:

  • Email Phishing: The practice of sending out fake emails that look legitimate, in order to steal information such as passwords, credit card numbers, or personal information.
  • Identity Theft: Usually perpetrated by people who set up legitimate looking websites designed to trick users into submitting personal information, similar to a loan or insurance application.. Other methods may include hacking databases containing business information, or accessing a personal hard drive illegally to steal personal information.
  • Fraudulent Business Sales: This is a common scam targeting webmasters and potential investors. When valuing an internet business, revenue, traffic, and the future potential value of the website are used to estimate the value. By faking revenue and traffic proof, a con artist can inflate perceived value of the website, sometimes scamming victims out of thousands of dollars.

Wire Fraud On The Phone

Wire fraud commonly occurs over the telephone as well. A con artist will call your house, and try to talk you out of personal information. Common scams involve criminals posing as salesmen, loan officers, and other business professionals in order to collect personal information such as credit card numbers or social security numbers.

Protecting Yourself

Wire fraud is a very real threat in the world today. By using a little bit of common sense, you can avoid becoming a victim yourself. Don’t give out personal information over the telephone to unsolicited callers without doing an extensive check on their background. Be careful what kind of websites you use to conduct financial transactions. There are many legitimate websites where doing credit card transactions, or even loan applications is extremely secure. Be wary of any unknown websites. Bottom line, don’t give out your personal information to strangers. With just a little bit of common sense you can avoid becoming a victim of wire fraud yourself.

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Tom Wood
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Tom Wood

I have a question that I cannot find an answer to. I have real estate lender who said that I have been approved for a loan and in order to receive the loan, I need to send them a fee of $9000. Because I do not have that kind of money, they said that they will wire the $9000 to me and then I am to wire that money to the company who is providing the loan to me who is a private lender. Please tell me how this is a scam since I am getting money wired to me… Read more »

Michelle
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I met a guy and we have been chatting now 4 motnhs he was on his way from england to stay with me here in Oklahoma. He had been missing I just figured he was a liar. Well I got an email from a man saying he found my friend on the side of the highway in Canada and took him to a private clinic for treatment. This man says gave me a Docotrs name of Ashton Nelson and the gentleman who supposedly found my friend said his name his Steven Cox. they are holding my friend hostage for 3500… Read more »

Kathleen
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I was just scammed out of 520.00 I know we hear all the time, don’t wire funds to somewhere to received funds, and that if it sounds too good to be true it is. They hit me when i was desperate for money so I wouldn’t be evicted. I had applied for cash/payday loans on line, and received a phone call from this “california” based company, the person spoke with a thick India accent I was told to wire 112 dollars and I would have a loan of 1500 approved. I would then just need to make the monthly payments… Read more »

Candice
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Candice

I was scammed out of $80,000 from BANK OF THE ATLANTIC supposedly located in Montreal Canada. They promised a huge return on my investment but when I asked them to wire me my money, they claim it would take 6-8 weeks. This was more than 11 weeks ago, and since then, there has been no answer. A friend of mine who introduced me to BANK OF THE ATLANTIC was also frauded out of $150,000 and another person I know about $100,000. BEWARE, they are BAD and DANGEROUS. They scam on innocent people, my friend did business with a Japanese department… Read more »

hilary
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i got scammed out of 3362.00. i was looking for a nanny job when the woman told me the job had been filled and told me that a man needed someone to work for him part time. he sent me checks by ups 995.00 i was to deposit them but my bank had to let them clear over night and when they did i was to cash them deduct 10% and send the rest western union to were ever he told me to send it to. come to find out 2 weekd later all of the checks bounced now i… Read more »

Mr. P
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Mr. P

I have a man who wants to buy 4 coins I have, total cost $170.00, and he wants to send me a certified check for $1500.00 and have me take out my money and wire, via Western Union, the remainder to a shipping outfit who will pick up his coins for him. He is offering me another $50 to do it this way, “for your inconveince.” I could mail the coins to him for less than $5.00, or overnight via Fed Ex if he is in a hurry, for $25. Anybody see anything fishy about this, and where would I… Read more »

Tanya
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Tanya

My mom wanted to sell a timeshare but she ended up being scammed out of 1500$ via money wire to TD bank. She called the bank but they said that they knew the account was fraudulent so there was a chance that she could get her money back since no one had touched the account yet. She called back a few days later and they said that there was now no money in the account and they won’t admit to ever having said that there was a chance that she could get her money back to begin with. Who can… Read more »

Peter
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I was scammed out of $631.00 by a company saying I needed to send them a security deposit for a personal loan. silver creek equity group from NJ. After I sent it they told me I had to send in another $631 I refused and asked for a refund. Now the phone number and website don’t work what can I do?

Richard
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Richard

I forgot to mention, regardless of your success getting your money back, you should report fraud to law enforcement for investigation. You can contact the FBI if local law enforcement doesn’t seem like they are going to pursue the issue. Good Luck.

Remember …. fraud hurts every law abiding and tax paying citizen.

Richard
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Richard

Yes, I have the answer. Report that immediately to the lending institution or bank that the funds were transferred by. For example, if you gave money via check/debit card, contact your bank. They will generally give you the money back after a small investigation into the fraud. You have to report it quickly so they can reverse the charges.

If you gave the money via credit card, contact the credit card company and notify them of the fraud. They can sometimes reverse the charge.