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Wire Transfer Fraud

Wire FraudIt seems like scam artists are always coming up with new ways to defraud unsuspecting people out of their hard-earned money. Most of the time, it’s the same old scam using a new method of baiting their victims.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a statewide alert to remind residence of Arkansas about some of the common schemes that keep getting revised and thus, more conniving.

This warning actually applies to everyone and not just this one state as a lot of these can be performed across state lines.

Foreign Lotteries and Sweepstakes.

If you get a letter in the mail, or even an email, telling you that you have won a foreign sweepstakes or lottery and are entitled to a prize, pay no attention to it. Move it to your spam box or delete it. Think about it: If you have not entered a sweepstakes or have a lottery ticket, you cannot win it. Many people just fall for this scheme because they think they were mistakenly chosen to win, but want to claim the prize dishonestly, and they end up becoming the victims. These contests are fake. Most of the time, respondents receive a check or a promise to receive a check if you wire them money to cover the “processing fees” for the winnings. After you wire the money, you will never see a prize and will not be able to recover your funds.

Employment Offers.

Whenever you get any type of offer in the mail or email (whether it was unsolicited or because you responded to a classified ad) telling you that you can earn a lot of moeny for very little work, be extremely careful. Regardless of whether the opportunity is full-time, part-time or a work-at-home/telecommuting, an unsolicited offer is usually filled with fraud.

One such scam asks the consumer to “process payments” by receiving checks and depositing them into their own accounts. Then they have to send that money somewhere, while keeping a designated amount for themselves as a processing fee. This is a form of money laundering and the money doesn’t come from legitimate business transactions. You may unknowingly be assisting somebody commit fraud.


One of the ways that these scammers find their victims is by placing ads on ebay, craigslist or other such places selling expensive high-end items or even responding to such ads.

  • Case of False Advertisers: You attempt to buy the product and are told yo wire money for payment. You end up losing the money and never receive your purchase.
  • Case of False Buyers: You receive a check for the product you’re selling, but it will be for more than what the asking price was. They will claim this to be some sort of a mistake, and will ask you to wire the difference back. The original check will turn out to be a fake, but most consumers will have already wired the difference to the criminal.

McDaniel stated: “All of these scams have one thing in common: they require the use of wire transfers. While there are some legitimate uses of wire services, scammers typically use this method to steal your money.”

In order to make sure you don’t fall for these scams which come in many variations, follow these simple pointers:

  • If someone sends you a check in the mail “before” you’ve even performed any work, your safest options is to shred it and get rid of it. If you’re adamant about stopping such crime, you can take the check to the police.
  • If you decide to take the check to the bank, make sure you ask that they verify that it’s a real check and possibly if there is money in the account. Do not take money out of your account against the deposit until the bank has notified you that the check has cleared. This process can take days or even weeks. If the scammer tries to guilt you into rushing and skipping this procedure, you can tell them you’re just going to send the check back or shred it and terminate any agreement and communication with them.
  • Never perform a wire transfer of money to someone you do not know.
  • If an employer does not seem to use any type of screening process to determine if employees are hired, be very careful.
  • If you’ve won a prize, there shouldn’t be any money required in order to receive the prize. Do not pay.

Source: Attorney General’s Office

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