New York residents have probably heard about wire fraud at least once in their lives, but unless it happens to you, it’s hard to understand it. Wire fraud is what happens when someone uses the internet, a phone call, fax or social media to get access to funds that aren’t theirs.
What are some examples of wire fraud?
One popular example of wire fraud is the Nigerian Prince Scam, where you get an email from a Nigerian Prince asking you to send him money in return for a larger payment later. Often times this money is wired directly to the sender of the email, and then you never hear from them again.
Other times, the scammer will pretend to be someone’s daughter, niece, cousin or a famous person that is in desperate need of help. Whatever their story is, it always ends in the same way: They need you to wire them a certain amount of money, immediately, and they’ll pay you back later.
Scams that involve a loved one being in dire straights can be a lot more compelling than a Nigerian prince. Even still, you should never wire money to someone you don’t know. If the email claims to be from a loved one, do everything you can to get in touch with the person over the phone before wiring them money.
What can be done to prevent wire fraud?
The first rule of thumb is to never wire money to someone you don’t know, regardless of how tempting the offer might seem. Always verify the identity of the person you’re trying to wire money to.
You should also never share passwords, bank information, or social security numbers with anyone. If you believe you’ve been a victim of a wire fraud scam, reach out to a lawyer.