Amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, many people in the United States are trying to help family and friends in Ukraine and those who have fled the country, including finding ways to send them money directly. We have a number of resources aimed at helping you safely send money overseas, as well as to help loved ones make informed financial decisions and to protect against fraud.
Sending money overseas
If you’re sending money abroad, you have federal rights and protections. Especially in the case of an emergency, you want to ensure the right amount is getting safely into the hands of the correct person.
Before you send money, the money transfer or remittance company generally is required to tell you:
- Exchange rate
- Amount to be transferred
- Taxes collected by the money transfer company
- Certain fees
- Amount the recipient will receive (in some cases, this may be lower than the amount transferred because of fees charged by the recipient’s bank and foreign taxes)
Afterward, the remittance provider also gives you a disclosure that shows the information above, as well as the date the money is available to the recipient. Keep in mind that because of the conflict, the provider might tell you a date that is later than usual. And, for the same reason, you might find the money is delayed even beyond that.
You have the right to shop around for the best provider. You can also cancel a transfer – generally within 30 minutes after payment is made – at no cost, unless that transfer has been picked up or deposited into the recipient’s account.
Sharing money and resources with family and friends
Our research shows that one in three U.S. adults provides financial support to family and friends. Most people want to help protect those close to them, especially in urgent situations.
Getting financial support to loved ones in areas affected by military conflict may be your most important priority now. To help, we have a guide to having successful conversations and clarifying financial arrangements, so that your most important relationships can stay strong and stable.
Helping others – safely
While lending a helping hand to those in need, it’s also a good idea to make sure your own money situation is as safe, secure, and stable as possible. Take care to avoid costly mistakes and scams, and consider taking steps to guard against unexpected events in your own situation.
Mobile payment services and apps let you send money to people without having to write a check, swipe a card, or hand them cash. When sending money through your mobile device, make sure your money goes where you want it to.
A common scam during a natural disaster is a charity scam, where a fake organization is created to con people into donating money.
To help you as you assist others, as well as think through your own emergency preparations, we have a guide for preparing, recovering, and rebuilding after a disaster. And, you can use our to prepare for emergencies or reconstruct your financial life after a disaster.