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I’ve heard that a lot of con artists use money wire transfers to steal people’s money. Is this true? How can I protect myself?

Yes, con artists use money wire transfers to steal people’s money, for example the "grandparent scam." But you can protect yourself by familiarizing yourself with common scams and by knowing your rights.

Once a money transfer is picked up, there is very little you can do to get your money back. If someone you don’t know asks you to wire money, it should be a red flag. And be cautious when people you do know ask you to wire funds. Verify that they indeed are the ones requesting the money.

One common con is the “grandparent scam.” This is when a con artist posing as a grandchild or a friend of a grandchild will call and say they are in a foreign country, in trouble, and need money right away. Avoid the urge to act quickly. Talk to other family members before sending money.

Other common scams include:

  • Prize promotion scams
  • Counterfeit check scams
  • Mystery shopper scams

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