Online Dating Scams
It's everything you've hoped for and more. She's beautiful, smart, witty,
and you two just "get" each other. Sure, you've never met her in person —
but that doesn't matter. You've been talking to her for months, exchanged
pictures, maybe even spoken on the phone. Sometime soon you'll get to
meet, but right now she's on the other side of the world, no doubt doing
humanitarian work. Then, there is a problem. She's got an emergency and
needs some funds. Not a lot, just a couple hundred dollars. Can you do
that? And then the next week, someone got sick. You don't mind covering
that too, right? Guess what? That beautiful woman you fell in love with in
Ghana? She's probably a bearded man. He's built your trust, and now he's
ready to take you for all your worth.
Lottery & Sweepstakes Scams
You got amazing news in your e-mail today. You've won the lottery! The
grand prize is enormous, and you have already begun dreaming of what
you might do with that money. You're not quite sure that you remember
playing the lottery, but oh well, you've already forgotten what you had for
breakfast; it would be easy to forget such a thing. There's only one catch:
the sender needs some funds from you in order to cash out your prize.
Just a small amount. And what's $1,000 when you're about to get millions?
Relative in Need Scam
Your grandchild is traveling in Mexico and has suddenly run out of money.
She sends you an urgent e-mail or phone call saying she has an emergency
and asks for money. You don't remember her telling you she was going to
travel to Mexico, but you're worried for her safety and want to ensure
she's OK. So you send her a couple hundred dollars. What's a couple
hundred dollars when it comes to your grandchild's safety?
Learn if you are being conned in a family emergency scam.
Mystery Shopper Scam
Lucky you! You just landed a new gig as a mystery shopper and have been
assigned your first task. All you need to do evaluate the customer service
of a local retail store. Sounds easy enough, right? There is just one catch.
You were sent a check or money order with instructions to deposit it, yet
you find out the amount is more than it should be. So, now you need to
send money back to the sender. Sounds a little fishy, but you don't think
too much of it. Yet, as soon as you send your transaction, you learn that the
original check was counterfeit and now you can't get back the money you
just sent. So now you're out for both amounts.
Vehicle Purchase Scam
Your fervent internet search for a great deal on your dream car has paid
off! You found the car you want at a much lower price than what your local
dealership is willing to offer. You contact the seller and he/she tells you to
send either a down payment and/or the service fees for the application
loan through a money transfer so you can avoid sales tax and get a better
rate. He or she may even send you a receipt. Do not send a down payment
or service fees via a money transfer. You won’t get your dream vehicle and
you won’t get your money back.
Internet Purchase Scam
You’ve found a terrific price on an apartment rental online and decide to
move forward with signing the lease. Only the leasee is actually a scammer
who asks you to pay for the first month with a money transfer and that
too-good-to-be-true apartment doesn’t actually exist. Be wary when
shopping online and someone asks you to pay with a money transfer or
even send a deposit to an individual or fake business. This can happen with
any online purchases – a puppy, a vacation rental, a timeshare or a car. You
name it. Do not wire money for internet purchases. You won’t get the
merchandise and you won’t get your money back.
Newspaper Ads Scam
It’s Sunday morning, you’ve just poured yourself a fresh cup of coffee and
are ready to sit down to breakfast, newspaper in hand. Turning to the
classifieds, you notice an ad for a new, stainless steel refrigerator for a
price that seems too good to be true. You think about how you’ve needed
a new refrigerator for some time and decide to take the plunge. You
purchase it. Sure, you’re a little skeptical because you’re buying it from a
stranger and even stranger yet – they’ve asked you to transfer money to
them for the purchase. Never use a money transfer to purchase something
from a stranger. You may never get the item and you’ll lose your money.
A recent natural disaster has left an entire nation reeling to rebuild in the
aftermath of destruction and you want to do your part to help by donating
money. Sadly enough, natural disasters such as floods, tornados or
hurricanes often result in scammers staging "charitable" organizations
that prey on well-intentioned people. Your heart goes out to these people
who have just lost everything. You receive a call or a letter from a
charitable organization telling you exactly where to transfer money. Be
sure to never send money to people or organizations that you don't know.
Instead, contact the American Red Cross or another trusted organization
that you know and that you understand how the funds are being collected
and used. Chances are, if you transfer money to an organization you don't
know, your money will not go to the intended cause but rather into the
pockets of scammers.
Find additional tips to ensure you are sending your money to a reputable organization.
Check or Money Order Scam
You receive a check or money order through the mail as an advanced payment for that awesome job you’ve just landed or for the merchandise you’re selling through an online ad. The only catch is that the amount of the check is more than it should be so the scammer tells you to deposit the check and then wire the amount they’ve “overpaid” back to them. Before you know it, you realize that the check or money order is counterfeit and – worse yet – you can’t get back the money you sent through the money transfer.
Elder Financial Abuse Prevention
The elderly are prone to be exploited, abused and deceived in different
forms such as physical, emotional, sexual, and economic. If you know or
suspect that an elderly person is victim of abused, including financial
abuse, the State of California requires that this abuse be reported.
Warning signs of elder financial abuse:
- An elderly person enters your business in the company of an individual who threatens or forces the older person to make a transaction with the intention of stealing his money;
- An elderly person who appears to be fearful or nervous;
- An elderly person says that he has a new friend that will help him with his finances;
- An elderly person says that an individual mentioned that his or her child has been injured or is in jail and needs money;
- An elderly person who looks with physical abuse, such as beating or physical restraining.
To help prevent that an elderly person becomes a victim of financial abuse, ask your customer the following:
- Are you sending money to claim lottery or prize winnings, or on a promise of receiving a large amount of money?
- Are you sending money because you were “guarantee” a credit card or loan?
- Are you responding to an Internet or phone offer that you are not sure is honest?
- Are you sending money to someone you do not know or whose identity you can’t verify?
Guaranteed Loan Scam
Are you sending money because you were "guaranteed" a credit or loan? If
so, be cautious! It is highly unlikely that you would ever need to send
money in order to receive a true credit or loan.
Money Transfer Scams
Money transfer scams take on many shapes and forms. What's worse,
fraudsters are continuously learning new tricks and techniques. It can be
very difficult to know when a specific situation is in fact a scam. That's why
it's very important to stay one step ahead of tricky scammers.
Consult the Federal Trade Commission's portal of blog posts and articles on the most common and the most recent money transfer scams.
Identity theft occurs when someone assumes your identity to perform a
fraud or other criminal act. Criminals can get the information they need to
assume your identity from a variety of sources, including by stealing your
wallet, rifling through your trash, or by compromising your credit or bank
information. They may approach you in person, by telephone, or on the
Internet and ask you for the information.
Where to Get Help If You Get Scammed
If you are the victim of a money transfer scam, first report the incident to
your local police. Next, file a report with the various resources listed
below. And always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to give
us a call right away at 1-866-999-3175.
If you've been the victim of fraud, you need to report it. Here is a list of
useful resources to aid you in reporting fraud.
1. Call the police. Start with your local police. All money transfer scams should be reported to the police.
2. Contact Intermex's fraud department
We want to know about it so that we can do everything in our power to
make sure it doesn't happen again.
Contact us by phone at 1-866-999-3715 or by e-mail at
3. Federal Trade Commission
File a complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission or contact
them by phone at 1-877-FTC-HELP.
4. Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC)
If you were a victim of fraud that began with contact through the internet,
you should file a report with the ICCC.
Links to additional resources.
Scammers attack when you're least expecting it and often prey on the
most well-intentioned people. Educate yourself on how to protect you and
your loved ones from unexpected fraud. Here is a list of several resources
that provide helpful information to protect you and your family.