Wiring money is a part of many scams because scammers know that it is both quick and difficult to trace. In addition, wired money is the equivalent of cash. In fact, any time that you are asked as a part of any financial transaction to wire funds, you should consider the possibility that it is a scam. That is not to say that all wired transactions are scams, but it certainly is something that should put you on the alert. That being said, earlier this week MoneyGram, a company that specializes in wiring funds agreed to pay 100 million dollars as a part of a settlement with the United States Department of Justice which had brought charges against MoneyGram International, Inc. accusing the company of not doing enough to stop fraud through the use of its services. Remembering the old adage, “When you are getting run out of town, get in front and look like you are leading the parade,” the CEO of MoneyGram said that they agreed to the fund to be used to provide compensation to victims of scams that utilized the services of MoneyGram because “We take compliance very seriously at MoneyGram and nothing angers us more than when our services are used to perpetrate illegal activity.” It should be noted that MoneyGram as a company did not perpetrate any frauds, however, the allegations are that as with other companies that wire funds, they had not done enough to stem the use of their services for fraudulent purposes.
The lesson of this case is to always be wary when you are asked to wire funds in any transaction. That very fact should make you more alert to the possibility that the transaction might be a scam and should make you more cautious. Remember that when you wire money, the funds are gone. If there is a problem later or fraud involved, you are out of luck. The money is gone and you generally have no recourse.