Money transfer scams are very common these days. Almost everyone who has an email address receives emails claiming that the recipient has won a lottery worth $1000000 or something or that this amount has no heir and would be transferred to the recipient of the email. Such phishing cases have only increased with time and the common people unaware of the tricks fall into the traps of the scammers.
Some people lose their savings while others lose their living by believing in these tricksters. These days, due to the availability of more channels of communication, they have begun using all channels possible to find their prey. I have received such messages on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn as well. One should only approve requests for connection or inclusion into one’s network for known people.
To avoid being a victim of money transfer scams, we should totally avoid any email, message or notification that suggests that we are being awarded money; remember that money is earned, nobody gives it to you just like that. Secondly, report any suspicious persons or messages wherever possible. If such an email is in your inbox for example, report it as spam and block the email addresses that send these emails.
The leading money transfer operators like MoneyGram and Western Union are often used by scammers to fulfil their purpose. One must be careful never to send money to anyone except when the recipient is known and the purpose is apparent.
Becky KASPICK wrote:
I recently sent money online thru Ria Money Transfer to Ghana because there is no close agent available in my area. My transfer went under review because it was being sent to Ghana. I had a very close friend who traveled to Ghana and in the need of money so I thought this was the best way to go.
After Ria reviewed my transfer, it was declined and I had to wait 3 business days for the return of my money which caused me a great inconvenience. I also helped a friend of mine that her sister in Spain wanted her to send some money for Xmas by using Ria. My friend does not have a computer and did not understand how to send the money so I helped her. The transfer went under review and again was denied. She has to wait 3-5 business days for the return of her money.
This is totally inappropriate. Not only did they make a poor decision to decline this, but it is again very inconvenient to tie up the return of her money. If they advertise to send money all over the world, then why do they deny all transactions and what gives them the right to decide to whom I can send money to. I knew thes people and I was declined.
I know many people in Ghana and Ria has blocked me from never sending money to Ghana again. I feel this is discrimination against me and them. What gives them this right to make a decision like this?
Dear Becky, thanks for writing to us.
I won’t advocate for them, nor would I say they are completely wrong. But I was surprised to hear that they blocked a transfer to Spain. When we speak about Ghana and money transfer, it is understood, because many scams have been traced back to Ghana and other African nations. One should always be careful while dealing with an unknown party in such countries. The decision to block maybe for security and to avoid scams, but I agree, they should not be blocking money transfers totally.
I am not sure why the transaction was declined for transfer to Spain, you should probably find that out by contacting the customer service team at +1-562-345-2100 or by filling the form here. You should ask for the specific reason for the decline of money transfer to Spain. I am sure they must have blocked/declined the transaction for some reason/misunderstanding. Finding that out would make things clear; whether it was a misunderstanding or they are actually discriminating.
And if they still block transfers to Ghana, you have many other money transfer services that transfer money to Ghana, you can choose one of them.
By Mohammed Waseem
Small and medium sized financial businesses, who don’t have their own resources to facilitate international money transfer, use the network of leading money transfer services. This gives them access to the entire world, while not having any operation in most of the countries. This gives them an opportunity to expand their businesses and gain a lot of experience.
American financing company, ACE Cash Express offers money transfer services to 197 countries worldwide. The service is advertised as MoneyGram, but they are provided by ACE Cash Express. So, necessarily, it is the advertisement of agency. And apart from all the locations MoneyGram has, ACE Cash Express adds to these. They do not mention the other MoneyGram offices locally, but allow collection of cash at any location in the world.
Senders can also use their services to send money online. But this, they do by redirecting to MoneyGram website. They do not have a webpage of their own to facilitate online transfer.
ACE also offers loans and prepaid card solutions; and this service becomes an add-on to their customers and may also bring new customers.
Question From Earl Griffin:
Can you transfer money to Ghana? If so, how much and what is the transfer fee?
You have not mentioned where you want to send money from; I am assuming it is the USA. Unless you have a family back there that you want to support, or there is a clear purpose, I suggest you not to send money to Ghana. In general, the West African region is where scams and fraud are very common. Many people in different parts of the world have received emails, SMSs or phone calls from scammers in this regard.
In case you have a purpose and you decide to send money to Ghana, you can read further. There are a lot of ways to send money to Ghana. The most effective and fast way is through Western Union, world’s leading money transfer operator, having operations in almost every country in the world. They allow $3000 to be sent anywhere from the US and the fee starts at $4.99.
According to a report published by The World Bank, Ria Money Transfer offers you the least total cost, compared to MoneyGram and Western Union. They charge $5 per transfer if the sender pays using bank account; otherwise it is over $10. Ria allows transfers up to $2999.
Even MoneyGram allows transfers of up to $2999, but divert the sender to an exchange house – USFOREX, in case they need to send over $2999. Some operators may charge lower fees, but the exchange rate margin would cover the cost entirely. All of these services can either be accessed online on their websites and by visiting a branch.
If you want to use a bank’s framework and do not want to use a money transfer operator, you could make a Bank Wire Transfer. I hope you have got the best options to select from.
By Mohammed Waseem
We have known many money transfer services that allow transfers to India and similar developing nations. Sending money from India is however subject to a lot of restrictions, it is not impossible though; but the options are very few and many of the common people are unaware of them. Any leading money transfer service you mention, they have no way to send money out of India due to the restrictions involved.
There are few foreign exchange companies that offer money transfer from India to many countries. Thomas Cook is a leading foreign exchange company and a travel agency that has branches in all major Indian cities. They offer money transfer services from India to over 120 countries.
In order to send money, one has to walk into a Thomas Cook office and complete the process to send money abroad in a fast, reliable and convenient manner. They have special services for speedy transfers and for students looking to study abroad. Other than that, the transfers need to be for personal use only.
Money can be sent abroad for maintenance of close relatives, and the Reserve Bank of India has defined who falls into the definition of ‘close relatives’. It includes the sender’s spouse, or a member of their Hindu Undivided Family, which is a form of family business in India. Other relatives include parents, children and their spouses, grandchildren and so on. A list of 22 relatives other than the spouse has been mentioned.
As per the regulations, any resident of India, including a minor is allowed to remit up to USD 100000 per financial year, provided a proper reason is specified. For larger amounts, prior approval of the RBI is necessary, and this is not easy to acquire.
Being a foreign exchange dealer, they can offer good rates. But that is not something that the senders would bother, as finding a service that allows money transfer out of India is a difficult task.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is trying to send me money through a wire transfer to my bank account and they are asking me for my banks swift code. I called my bank and they said they don’t have a swift code. The federal Reserve bank in New York, told me that I have to register the code, and to do that, I had to pay $427. I need to know if this is right.
By the way, I am in Texas. I need a response to this message ASAP please. Thank you
Dear Cheryl, thanks for writing to us.
You said the Federal Bank wants to send you money and they want a SWIFT code for your bank. Do they want you to pay them $427 for registering a SWIFT code? A bank individually registers for it, it is not upon their customers to do it. If they don’t have a SWIFT code, they are not a member of SWIFT community.
If you haven’t read our article on SWIFT codes, I urge you to read it here. SWIFT is used i case of international transfers, and for local transfers within the US, you have the Fedwire network. I doubt that the Federal Bank of New York would request for a SWIFT code for sending money to Texas. They could use a local framework instead.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and other Federal Reserve Banks will never contact the public via unsolicited phone calls or e-mails asking for money or any other type of personal information. Moreover, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and other Federal Reserve Banks will never contact the public regarding the issuance of a wire transfer.
Having said all this, even if this was a genuine case, then remember that you are not supposed to pay for registering a bank as a member of the SWIFT network. Whoever is requesting money from you maybe trying to scam you, so be alert.
Question from Stan:
44260 APIS ROAD
41125 WINCHESTER RD
44535 BEDFORD COURT
By Mohammed Waseem
Indian post office, Department of Post has made a money transfer service which is fast, convenient and accessible to all Indians. Generally, a person needs to visit a post office and fill the send money form before handing over the cash to the clerk. But here, the form can be downloaded and filled in before visiting the post office.
From a mobile phone, users can visit http://www.dopmobile.in/ to access the postal services and download the forms. Any amount between INR 1000 and 10000 can be sent with this service. When the sender visits any of the post offices and hands over the form and the cash, the details are entered into the mobile application by the clerk and both the sender and the recipient receive a confirmation message with the transaction ID.
The sender also receives a secret code that has to be communicated with the recipient. The recipient can immediately visit any of the post offices and collect the cash by providing the transaction ID and the secret code.
Or amounts between 1000 and 1500, the fee applicable is INR 45 (fee+tax), INR 79 for amounts between 1501 and 5000 and INR 112 for amounts between 5001 and 10000. The recipient is required to collect the cash within 14 days of the transaction date, after which, the amount is returned to the sender.
The sender receives an SMS that the money was not collected and has to be withdrawn from a post office. The sender has 7 days from the date of receiving the SMS to collect the cash from a post office.
This service is called DOP Mobile Money Transfer and is called so because it enables instant money transfer from one place to another place using mobile, through Indian post offices. The difference, however is that the mobile app is not used by the sender to send money, but by a post office clerk to process the transaction.
By Mohammed Waseem
Payroll cards provider Brightwell Payments has a product line called OceanPay, which is a service to cater to payroll needs of businesses. It involves products offered in partnership with Visa and MasterCard for the users to benefit from various services available. This includes cash withdrawal, online account access, etc.
One of the services available is the facility to send money back home. As it is called, it is a service that enables users to send money home in minutes, without leaving the ship. The ways available to send money include wire and draft.
All the users have to do is login and select the Global Currencies option. The web address for logging in is mentioned on the back of every card. Once logged in, the above mentioned option has to be selected for making money transfer. A beneficiary has to be added then, from the Manage tab by selecting the Manage Beneficiary option from the drop-down menu.
The currency has to be selected then, having filled the form and before selecting Create New Beneficiary. The information required for adding a beneficiary is their mailing address, the receiving bank’s name, bank code, IBAN and the SWIFT Code, and the receiving bank’s address.
After the beneficiary has been added, payment details have to be entered in screen after selecting Order Wire/Draft from the Quote & Order menu. After adding the payment, ‘Send Wire/Draft’ has to be chosen to initiate the payment. The acknowledgement can then be printed for reference. The fees applicable maybe between $7 and $15.
Western Union transfers are available through OceanPay, as well. Users can alternatively choose this to send money to any corner of the world and avoid complicated procedures. The wire transfer is safe, but it is complicated compared to the simple processes many competitors have been offering and to the demands of modern customers.
This service is only available to OceanPay card holders; and the cards are provided by their employers. So it is not available for everyone.