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Consumer Protection: Prevent Money Scams



MoneyGram's consumer protection guidelines will help prevent you from experiencing money scams and wire transfer fraud. MoneyGram is an affordable, reliable and fast way to send money around the world. Our services help thousands of customers meet financial commitments and support family members.

Unfortunately, some people have used our services for money fraud, to fool, or trick consumers with a variety of wire transfer scams. Please know that MoneyGram is dedicated to consumer protection and our brand, so stopping scams and fraud is very important to us. Below is a description of some common schemes and ways to protect yourself and your family.

Start with the basics of Consumer Protection

Always make sure the person or company you send money to (or sending money on behalf of) is someone you know and trust. It's important to keep the information related to your transaction confidential. Note: Once money has been paid, cancellation or refund is no longer possible. If you need to cancel or change a transaction, please call MoneyGram or contact the MoneyGram agent that sent the transaction, immediately.

Common wire transfer scams

Counterfeit check scam     

You receive a check or money order with instructions to cash the item at your bank, and then send some of the funds to someone else through MoneyGram. Counterfeit checks can be difficult to detect and may not be recognized until after you've completed the requested transfer. With this scam, fraudsters get the cash and you're responsible for paying back the counterfeit amount and any fees to your bank.

Lottery scam

You receive a telephone call saying you've won money or a prize requiring you to send money to pay for taxes, customs fees, etc. This common trick focuses on the hopes people have of winning a lottery or big prize. Never transfer money to claim a prize, or to someone you cannot verify.

Hero scam

A response to your newspaper ad for a lost pet or lost personal item. This fraud uses classified ads to contact people, pretending to have found their lost item. Never include a full description of the lost item in the newspaper - have the caller describe what they found.

Good faith scam

A stranger tells you to send money to a friend or relative as a show of "good faith" for a purchase. Legitimate business isn't conducted this way. You're told to send money in the name of a friend, claiming your funds will be safe because they won't be able to collect the transfer. That's not true. Con artists often use fake identification, pretending to be someone else.

Phishing scam

You receive an email that appears to be from MoneyGram, asking you for financial or other information. No matter how real it looks, we're not an Internet escrow or shipment service. MoneyGram NEVER sends an email asking for personal or financial information, or requesting you to send money. The email instructs you to transfer money through MoneyGram or provide confidential information to trick you out of money.

Misleading information scam

Instructions to hide transaction information or mislead MoneyGram.  These are clear warning signs that something's wrong. Con artists are familiar with MoneyGram's efforts to prevent fraud and may tell you to not share the details of your transaction with MoneyGram to hide illegal activity.

Protect yourself

Buying items on the Internet

Be very careful if you send money to pay for merchandise purchased online. Many Internet auction and ecommerce sites provide secure payment systems, offering greater protection for the buyer and seller. These payment methods may be a better option than a money transfer.

Using the MoneyGram money transfer service

Protect yourself from being tricked while using our services;

  • Be careful whom you send money
  • Keep your transaction information confidential
  • Be suspicious of anyone who wants you to send money to them (or someone else) with a test question

Why this is important?  If a recipient has photo identification and knows information about the transaction and the sender, a reference number or the answer to a test question may not be required to pick up the transaction. Also, don't assume your money transfer is safe because you specified a country for the transaction; scammers can divert money to a different country.

Too good to be true

Be suspicious of very cheap, "too good to be true" deals. Before sending money in response to a newspaper or magazine ad for airline, concert or similar tickets, research the offer thoroughly. The same is true for offers of loans or credit cards asking you to send money for fees before signing any documents. MoneyGram cannot ensure that goods or services you're paying for will be received.

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