The Most Common Money Transfer Scams


Money/wire transfer scams are among the most prevalent work at home scams that people are falling for today. What’s worse is the fact that these types of scams are some of the easiest to prevent. You can protect yourself by following this one simple rule:

Never wire money or send money via Western Union or Money Gram to someone you do not know.

Scammers use money transfer services because you’re essentially just mailing cash quickly across the world. It’s near impossible to trace and you can forget about recovering it. Once you transfer your money away, it’s as good as gone.

But this can all be avoided if you only transfer money to people you know. It’s really that easy. If someone you don’t know or haven’t met in person is telling you to wire them money, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a scam.

Protect Yourself

Once you send the money and it gets picked up, consider it gone. It’s never coming back, especially if you wired the money overseas. Imagine dropping a $100 bill in Times Square and going back 12 hours later. You’re equally likely to get that money back.

That’s why you need to stick to wiring money to people you personally know. Don’t wire money to someone outside your friends or family. This includes…

  • Potential employers who insist it’s part of your job
  • Sellers on sites like craigslist
  • An online love interest who asks for money or a favor
  • Advertisers who put up vacation rentals

I’ve actually seen scammers take it one step further and try and impersonate a person you might know. I once received an email from my brother’s email address and it said he was in Spain on a business trip and he was mugged and desperately needed me to wire him money. Unfortunately for the scammer, my brother happened to be about 10 feet away from me when I read the email. They’ll go to any lengths to get money out of you.

The Most Common Money Wiring Scam

The most common scam I cover here at I’ve Tried That are fake check cashing jobs. With a check cashing scam, you’re asked to receive a check, deposit it into your bank account, and forward most of the amount overseas while keeping a portion of it for yourself as a “payment.” The checks you receive are either fake or stolen and it’s only a matter of time before they bounce.

Unfortunately, most banks don’t spot the fake checks and will allow you to deposit them. Federal law requires banks to immediately grant you access to the funds even though they haven’t cleared. This allows you to complete your “job” and send the portion required overseas.

The fake check you deposited WILL eventually bounce. It can take weeks, or even months but that check will bounce. Unfortunately for you, you’ve already wired the money overseas and there is no hope of recovering that money. This leaves YOU responsible for repaying the cost of the check.

Follow this one simple rule: NEVER accept a job that requires you to handle someone else’s money. If an “employer” want you to receive a check and forward the money elsewhere, it is 100% guaranteed to be a scam. Every. Single. Time.

Alternative Money Wiring Scams

Scammers in countries like Nigeria do this full-time. It’s like a job to them and they’ll go to great lengths and come up with amazing, emotional stories to get you to send them money. Here are some of the more common scams…

  • Overpayment Scams – This one creeps up on Craigslist a lot. The scammer will agree to purchase an item you posted online, and will send a check, but accidentally make it out for more than you agreed upon. The scammer will then ask you to wire back the difference. The original check will bounce and you’ll be out an item, the money for the item, and the money you wired away.
  • Relationship Scams – Online dating is becoming increasingly popular and naturally scammers are taking advantage of this. They’ll spend MONTHS building up a relationship with a victim and then one day leave on a trip an encounter a problem when away. He or she will desperately plead with you for help and ask you to wire money with promises to pay you back once the scammer is back home. Don’t fall for it.
  • Mystery Shopper Scams – Mystery shopping scammers are following the same formula as check cashing employment scammers. They’ll send you a check for a few thousand dollars, and tell you to cash the check, keep a portion of the money for yourself as “payment,” spend a portion of the money at a store, and then send the rest of the money back along with your evaluations of the bank, the store you shopped at, and the company you used to send the money back. It’s all a scam of course. The original check will bounce and you will have to pay back the thousands of dollars you spent.
  • Online Purchase Scams – Just don’t pay for an item via money transfer. Easy as pie. Stick with credit cards and reputable businesses.
  • Property Rental Scams – Scammers have been putting up fake listings for apartments or vacation rentals at amazing prices. They will promise to hold it for you for a deposit or for rent and will tell you to wire money to owner. Do not do this! There is no rental and you will lose all that money.

If you’ve seen a variation on this scam, leave a comment below! You can help protect others from losing thousands of dollars. So speak up!

Please SHARE this page with anyone who thinks they’ve found a dream job that requires them to wire money. If a job wants you to wire money through Western Union or Money Gram, it is always 100% a scam. Do not accept a position where you handle a company’s money. Only wire money to people you PERSONALLY know and you’ll avoid all of these scams.

Stay safe out there.

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  1. What about when they have someone send you money and they tell you to take part of it and then you send the rest via money gram or western union

    1. Did you ever get an answer from this. I have a guy offering to let me keep xxx amount from the xxxx amount he sends and just forward the rest to a different person. Example, I get a western untion for 200, I keep 50 and western union 150 to the next person…IS this legit, or will I get ripped off some way…I’m very desperate for some money since I am unable to work due to illness and Christmas is around the corner and I have no idea how I’m going to provide for my kids

  2. I was looking for a job and I had someone message me, by the name of Tiffany Rodriguez, It was supposed to be a secretary/ personal assistant job position and told me for the first assignment, I was going to receive money a check to help her buy gifts for an orphanage, and that $485 of it was going to be my paycheck, note that there were 3 checks made out to be $989.53. Then the 2nd day she said she was not going through with shopping trip and she would rather me just sent money through western union, and I was like what? She insisted of me cashing it and going straight to western union, I said I would like to wait till the check clears to be safe, but she wasn’t cool with that at all. That’s when it started to get fishy and started to catch on, a huge scam!! I didn’t even go to cash any of it, for fear of getting in trouble or something. I’m glad I catched on and didn’t go through with it.

    look out for the numbers (832)-535-2464 and
    Two different names came up when I looked it up, a David Braack and that Tiffany lady. Please be cautious out there, And be on the look out for these scammers!! what low lifes

    1. Can you send me an email. I was almost scammed by the person at the 832-535-2464 number. I went to my bank… the funds never cleared thankfully because I have extra protection on my account. I was wondering if you knew any information on this person? Can you send me an email? I’ll give my address once I see a reply. It would be greatly appreciated!

  3. I have been job searching for weeks to find a replacement job for my current. So I saw a few on craigslist, I came across a job for a personal secretary the man Barry Williams asks for a resume so I sent my resume and he texts my phone not calls and asks if I’m interested in the job I asked what I will be doing he said that I am to open a bank account in my name with online banking and a new email account that we can both access and that I will be receiving and making payments for him and I will be paid $300 a week. Is this a scam?

  4. Joe Elmer says:

    I almost fell for it, Thank you for the information you have posted on scams. Following is one of the e-mails sent to me.


    The fund for your first assignment has been delivered to your address. Your instruction is below:

    Evaluate a western union money transfer agent/store in your area.

    You are instructed to go ahead to your bank to deposit fund for cashing. Embark on Western Union Evaluation as soon as fund is available. The payment you received covers all expenditures including evaluation, shopping, transport and your compensation (Per-Assignment Payment $300) for these surveys . Send the balance to another evaluator to carry out her assignment.
    Your first assignment is evaluation of western union service.


    (1)How long it took you to get services. (2)-Ambiance/Outlook of the Shop/Outlet (3)-Smartness of the attendant (4)-Customer service professionalism (5)-Reaction of personnel under pressure (6)-Information that you think would be helpful (7)-Your comments and impressions.
    As a secret shopper your job is to observe any useful information about the outlet/agent. Make sure you observe everything you see, because you would be asked some other questions after your evaluation. We want you to deduct your payment of $300 and have the remaining funds sent to the information below for proper preparation of our next evaluation. (Deduct the western union fee from the fund)

    Below is the Receiver Information of the next evaluator:

    FIRST NAME: Manni
    ADDRESS: No.1849 North of Guangzhou Avenue

    Note: Make sure you have the correct spelling of receiver name (Manni Huang)

    Amount: Send all remaining funds after deducting $300.00 and transfer fee is to be deducted from the remaining funds and not from your own commission.
    Once that is completed, remember to email the MTCN 10 digits as soon as you have wire the funds and the exact amount wired after the deduction of transfer fee with a detailed evaluation of Western Union Outlet.


    1) Senders Name and Address
    2) 10 Digit Money Transfer Control Number {MTCN}
    3) The amount transferred after deducting western union charges.

    Send information to:

    3. (347) 915-5763(text full name, mtcn and amount immediately after transfer)

    Show message history

  5. It’s VERY simple people. Heed the warnings these money-wiring companies are giving you! If you DO NOT KNOW the person you are sending, or receiving from, PERSONALLY (if you’ve never met them face-to-face then you DON’T know them personally), you are at VERY high risk of being scammed and as such, you SHOULD NOT follow through with the transaction!

  6. Is this a scammm….plz sombody tell me….I am selling my car on craiglist and I get a responce from a person saying that they wanted to buy my car…so ok then he says that he’s in sc and thar he will western union or pay pal the money to me ….once I have the money in my hand tha his mover wipp come pick up the ca….sombody plz help me

    1. it is a scam. I lost $1500 selling a motorcycle. The same thing happened to me

  7. This company hired me as financial support specialist. I’ve been saving every email. My job is to receive wire funds into my account which I gave them business account. But once I receive the funds I am to take my 8% commission and then wired the rest via Western Union/Money Gram. But my base pay is suppose to be $2300 a month. I’ve looked them up on Dun and Bradstreet and tried to find out if anybody else has been scammed by them or heard of them. Please let me know.

  8. I’m not sure exactly how this scam is working. I thought that 9flats was a legit company [or it seems to be] and usually you can pay by credit card. However, in the middle of trying to make this booking an email appearing to be from 9flats arrived stating that their system is too busy in this period and I must bank wire w/i 24 hours to complete the booking of this too amazing apartment. Not sure if all of 9flats is a scam or just this owner Morgan Aubert.

    From: 9flats GmbH ( Your junk email filter is set to exclusive.
    Sent: Wed 5/14/14 1:06 PM

    Microsoft SmartScreen has blocked this message for your safety and we’ll delete it after ten days.
    Show content

    Dear Cathie,

    Please accept our apologies for not accepting credit card payments for the moment. Our system is too busy in this period and sometimes we ask our customers to complete the payments into our Bank Accounts.

    The 9flats Team! is offered to you by 9 Flats GmbH
    Lerchenstraße 16a, 22767 Hamburg, Germany
    CEO: Stephan Uhrenbacher
    District Court of Hamburg, HRB 116045, VAT No.: DE815233889

  9. was sent a check in overpayment from Jame Denis Thomas. He bought a Russian icon, but did not collect it. And regretfully I have send the extra he had paid by a cheque from a Bank in France (2.615 US dollar) to a Colleen Franz Coleman via Western Union.

  10. Was sent a check in overpayment for some items that i sell. Now being asked to wire transfer remainding $1,000.00 to
    Name: Thomas Eugene Hunter
    City: Black River Falls
    State: Wisconsin
    Zip/Code: 54615

    There are too many red flags here so i will not be cashing any check.

    This lady is even text messaging my phone and begging me to send money immediately.
    The name they are going by is Melissa Rutten from California and the phone number they are texting me from is

  11. Tre there is a scam about transferrin money and I contacted the young lady name is Madison Hughes and instagram name is madi_ _takecare and she said she is transferring money from charities to your account. It is all a big scam. Do not give anyone your personal banking information. She said her Aunt works at Chase Bank and transfers the money …who does this without you providing a service.

  12. I recently almost fell for a scam but my girlfriend told me about it and I’m glad.

    I was selling my truck on craigslist for 2600$, this guy text me and told me he would send a check then send a courier to pick up the truck. I gave him my name and address and when I got home I told my girlfriend I found a buyer explained the situation and she promptly told me she was 99% sure it was a basic craigslist scam.

    I text the guy no deal cash in person only but he sent the check anyway. The check looks real enough and made out for $3200. So seems like he would have me cash the check then wire him the $600 difference. And picked up the truck and since banks are required to give immediate access to the funds it would seem like the check has cleared but it would bounce weeks maybe months later.

    He kept texting me informing me he knew the check had arrived and I kept telling him cash or no deal.

    Then he text me telling me he has my details and he will be contacting the FBI if I do no respond (which I had been responding) I told him to go ahead and contact them that I said cash or no deal. He didn’t text back.

    It is worrying but I have the texts as proof and the check too.

  13. Can anyone tell me about a scam where the person is promising electronically transfer funds to your account. I think this is a updated version of depositing a fake check. This sounds like money laundering or they’ve hacked someone else’s information and want to find someone to funnel the fund through.

  14. Hi please see below is the mail that I have recieved from Julie from mc financial consultancy. Please suggest what to do????

    Your account has already been transferred 1799 $. You leave yourself 5% as bonus money that is 89 $. Remaining amount of 1710 $(net of fees with western union) you must send through Western Union. In the office of Western Union you must send money transfer to our client:


    Payment amount: 1710 $

    First Name: VASILIY 

    Last Name:  KOLOMIETS 

    Country:    UKRAINE

    City:       KIEV

    Address: 4, Institutskaya Street, Kiev, 01001, UKRAINE


    Once you do the job, you must provide a copy of the blank form Western Union. I repeat to you that you should withdraw money from your account and send the money to our client through Western Union.

    Attention: Do not disclose information about the origin of money. This is confidential information.


    Julie Friel


    1. Rachel Chambers says:

      Did anything happen with this? I have supposedly been hired by a company and now is asking to do the same type of thing? To wire money then me withdrawal to send via western union to a guy in china? This has to be a scam? I haven’t heard anything about it and only heard of check scams? Any info is greatly appreciated! Thanks, Rachel

  15. ok im worried i met a guy online he says hes in the military send me pictures of him and put money on my account $1500 ask to send the money thru western union which i did now he send more money $1000 and $2000 asked to send him and me keep some and im reading all of this and im scared so now there is money in my account and i dont want to do this any more what should i do???? please help hes going to call me to day to send this out please help me im scared

  16. I feel like such an idiot.. The relationship scam got me.. As a rule my guard is up.. But this was well planned over some time.. He even asked for a picture of the mgram receipt and although I’m no longer answering him he’s asked for more.. I’ve had one relationship in over 10 years and am never going online again.. When I stopped contacting him.. He started threatening suicide.. One huge lesson learned.. I didn’t trust But then was told it was a failing etc that’s how he got me.. I’m in the process of changing details.. Just left with something I’m soo ashamed about none of my friends or family know.. If needed I let people know without using my name or details.. I was extremely physically exhausted and mildly depressed I’m now signed of for two weeks due to ill health.. This hasn’t helped
    Tip:- if you meet someone online and they jump to wanting to chat via email chats ie gmail etc don’t stick with the site.. I’m not doing it at all.. Once bitten n all that :-(

  17. I got this guy claiming to be from OTTO BOCK HEALTHCARE PLC who promises great things and bouneses for caching checks intom y person account and then deduct a bounes then wire the money to them overseas. The address given was

    Dollie R. Fischer
    32 Parsonage Rd
    Egham TW20 0LD
    UNITED KINGDOM [England]
    I stopped responding after it sounded too good to be true. However I almost got scammed by a company called Swedish medical lady name Sofia Moore, they wired $1000 to my account and gave me instructions to wire via western union to Russia – after getting the money I thought it was genuine but was delayed to transfer due to long distance travel – suddenly the money was reversed and deducted from my account … so glad I didn’t transfer the money. I reported them to FBI

  18. Bryan Waters says:

    I received an email from offering me a job with RTK Group, Inc. the next email I got was from the same lady, but with “the company” email. Apparently, it’s an investment banking company that uses independent contractors to receive money in their personal accounts, then wire the money to the sellers of “products and/or services”. They boast high weekly payouts, and higher after a probationary period. They seem legit, but I’ll NEVER give out my banking info for a job. Plus, who pays anyone $2500+ to use western union for them?!? SCAMMERS OR MONEY LAUNDERERS

  19. Hi,
    I had the same situation as Anis. I wanted to rent an apartment in Barcelona (via Craig’s list) and got the following request:

    “… i have resolved that a willing and serious tenants should be able to make transfer of the security deposit and the rent fee from your country with your friends or relative s name as the sender and your name as the receiver which will make the transfer available to receive by you in Spain which a confirmation will be made on the transfer done to check if he or she is capable of paying the rent (…)

    Please note that the transfer would have to be done through money gram from where you are into Spain so that it can be available for you to pick up when you get here, all i need is the receipt as a proof to show me that the funds is remitted with Money gram in your name, when this is done i ll be present in Barcelona on anytime depending on the day you choose. and also so as follow you to the money gram Post Office close to the flat to receive my rent fee, Please note that any money sent by your partner can as well be picked back by your self after it has been confirmed on the internet website of money gram post office that it is available for you.

    Please note that the cost of transfer will be deducted from the rent fee and refunded to you when you come for viewing.Once the transfer is within Spain,you will only need to call me so i can have it forwarded to my lawyer to make a check if truly the money is there in the Spain money gram post office website internet.”

    As to Anis, this seemed kind of strange to me and I checked some advises. At I found following information:
    “Never share details of a money transfer with a third party to prove the availability of funds. Doing so may enable the money transfer to be paid to that third party. This is known as a ‘Proof of Funds’ fraud.”
    The german money gram-page also says that frauders can take the money with falsed documents and additonally in the receipt they can see your account details.
    I don’t know if the person with whom I was in contact referring the apartment in Barcelona was a frauder, but I chose better not to find out…

  20. Hi,

    I would like to ask. I’ve come across this situation where the owner asked me to transfer money via Western Union to someone I know. It is to prove that I have the money to pay the rent. But they asked me to transfer it to people I know and provide them the receipt of the payment with the name of the me and the recipient name. And the money should not be transfer out until the “lawyer” verifies this.

    Can this be a scam? Can people other than the recipient take out this money?


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