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 Money transfer companies and scam prevention

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Shinsengumi
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Joined: 14 Aug 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:56 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hey there guys! I'm new here! What do you think money transfers companies should do to prevent scams?
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rattlesnake
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

While money transfer services such as Western Union and Money Gram often are seen in a poor light because they are the scammer's preferred method of collecting funds, in truth they post prominent warnings at their locations against sending money overseas or to people who you do not know.

There is very little they can do to prevent scams, however they do a great deal to warn people from sending money to scammers. Some will sadly ignore those warnings.

edit: Welcome to 419eater! Smile

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Shinsengumi
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Yeah i totally agree with you! But i want to know what do you scambaiters think? Any suggestions? lets say I can make some of your suggestions work in one of these companies, if it's reasonable of course..
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ParaNoid
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ rattlesnake said it pretty much for me. Those companies do a lot to try to reduce scams using their services.

The service is only as good as it's franchisee. Most locations are franchises and are supposed to follow policies and procedures, but not all of them do.

I hope you have read some of the instances on here where a WU or MG employee stopped a victim from sending money to someone they don't know.

Since the services are international, it is difficult to "standardize" anything. McHamburger places have similar issues because the cultures are different and what is acceptable in one culture is not even possible in another.

It sounds like you have some ideas and just want someone to ask you what your ideas are.

As always, education of potential victims is important.

Oh, here is an idea. Make everyone who wants to send money by a transfer service sit through a 30 minute educational video describing scams in their various types. Then they have to spend 30 minutes on ScamWarners reading, and yes there will be a test.

By the way, Welcome to Eater.

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MuzunguTheHuntress
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:49 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ Rattlesnake & 'Noid both said it quite well.

As long as you have franchisees - with low-level, minimum wage, morally bankrupt, refusing to follow the rules employees(granted, a minority, but they're there [1]) - you'll have scammers taking advantage of those windows.

Even if you changed the entire business model to reflect company-owned locations, you'd still have the problem both at the employee and customer levels - although you'd have more control over the employee part - and that's only 1 part of the problem. (But prices for sending would be prohibitive, considering the infrastructure investment necessary.)

From the outside looking in, a lot of WU's problems (since we dont deal with MG) are internal. Too many things out-sourced and nobody's watching the cookie jar. (like pre-cashed gold card rewards checks that *never* get rectified) But it is nice that customer service hasn't been outsourced.

Perhaps some additional auditing at the agent level? Requiring a copy of photo ID for claiming cash? Some facial recognition software that would pair up the recipients name with the photo (or fingerprint - or both) on file? (no match, no cash) At least that way, you'd *know* who's on the receiving end provided the ^^ low-level-morally-bankrupt (et. al.) actually do their job. (and if the fingerprint system were used, then regular database checks to catch any who are using more than 1 ID.) Tie it in with the WU computer system - no computer match, no printer access & no way to pay out. *no* over-ride at the local level. And hold the agents employee responsible if they don't do it. Some accountability (ok, additional accountability) when the hand goes into the cookie jar would be nice. And holding an agents employee responsible might entice the agents to hire better people for the job. [edit] And if over-ride were available with a phone call, then those who are over-riding regularly - claiming orphaned MTCN's etc - would be flagged & more easily investigated [/edit]

^^ That could be done world-wide without raising cries of 'racist' if you targeted only one high-fraud country like Nigeria.... but you could certainly start there.

I see WU has some nice 4-color (expensive) literature in their bins now and there's plenty of signage regarding fraud. WU's relatively recent changes in requiring additional personal information when sending over $2k were a nice touch. So I have to provide everything but a DNA sample when I send - but if I know a crooked employee - I can walk in & claim a transfer sent to "Santa Claus" if I have the MTCN.

But you can't legislate - or regulate - gullibility. As long as there are people willing to believe the story that's just "too good to be true" - you'll have successful scammers. Whether they're using money transfer services, banks, or the postal service to claim their cash.

(imho, etc etc - ymmv)

[1] Not to imply that all WU agent employees are morally bankrupt, etc - as the majority that we have dealt with are not. But the exceptions that prove the rule are glaring reminders every time we use the system.

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Last edited by MuzunguTheHuntress on Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Robert Heinrich der 1.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:00 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Shinsengumi wrote:
Hey there guys! I'm new here! What do you think money transfers companies should do to prevent scams?


the main problem (in my eyes): why should they prevent scams.

just an educated guess, those companies make up to 10% of their total income by transferring scam-money.

so, there is no real need to repair the system. but it could be repaired by setting up a few nice laws in the us and europe that the money transferring company has to repay the sender if sender was tricked into sending the money.

just as it is with credit cards... if I find out someone used mine, or I never received the bought product, I can go to my CCcompany report fraud and get my money back. that would force them to install security systems to prevent that... or at least to get the scammer afterwards.

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jose_cuervo
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I haven't wheeled this one out in a while... Smile

Quote:
WU is a legitimate service that is abused by scammers. Other services that the scammers abuse include, but are not limited to; MoneyGram, TDD/TTY services, the US/UK postal service et al, UPS, Fed Ex, DHL and every single free webmail provider past, present and future.

Western Union/MoneyGram/etc is a business, like all businesses, their goal is to make a profit, not to make decisions for their customers or get involved in every aspect of their customers personal affairs. They are aware that the scammers use their service and have even taken the initiative to provide warnings on their website. To my knowledge they are under no legal obligation to do so.

I have gone through the effort to provide some links and PDFs from Western Union's website that clearly addresses specific scams and specific types of scams and even what one should do if they suspect that they may be involved in a scam.

http://www.westernunion.com/info/fraudIndex.asp?country=global
http://www.westernunion.com/info/fraudProtectYourself.asp?country=global
http://www.westernunion.com/info/fraudProtectYourPassword.asp?country=global
http://www.westernunion.com/info/fraudScams.asp?country=global
http://www.westernunion.com/info/fraudTips.asp?country=global

http://members.419eater.com/~jose_cuervo/western_union/wu_pdf1.pdf
http://members.419eater.com/~jose_cuervo/western_union/wu_pdf2.pdf
http://members.419eater.com/~jose_cuervo/western_union/wu_pdf3.pdf


Additionally, every Western Union location I've seen (since I started paying attention to that sort of thing) has scam warnings clearly posted.

I believe there was a discussion about this a while back, I'll try to find the link and post it here.

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Shinsengumi
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:29 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hey guys! i was thinking if i should make another thread or people can just post here scammers names and their location , the same name which they ask you to send money to, because of my work i can prevent them from getting the funds.. and waste their time on creating new ID's.. or it would be even better if you could PM it to me... i dont want my company to find out that im doing it here on forums:)
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Tsnerd
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi.

I am sure that we appreciate the offer, but I hope that you realize that this is only your fourth post here?

We would need a lot more information, Shins.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

When I pick up a package at my post office, I have to show a picture ID with name, license number, SIN etc. and that's to collect a package that may be worth 10$

Why can't WU do that when someone is coming to collect large sums of money? I don't think they should be making decisions about who can and cannot send money, but wouldn't getting the receiver's ID be easy, or am I missing something?
It certainly wouldn't cause any inconvenience to legit senders/receivers.

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MuzunguTheHuntress
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:22 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I saw the "new & improved" WU system in operation today. So much for having a clerk ask 'why' i'm sending the $. The sys is now computerized - touch screen. Fill in the name, location & amount - click - take the receipt to the register where they collect & process the transaction. <deletes rant about WU IT support>

It'll be nice not to be grilled every week by a new clerk. But the "new" system does take some of the personal touch out of it.

If I'm sending, they want *all* of my info (and poorly trained clerks have demanded to see my social security card on a $300 transaction - one even tried to swipe my DL) - but virtually nothing from the recipient. Well - they're supposed to look at photo ID, but a lot of them don't even do that.

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jose_cuervo
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Re: The ID requirement for collecting money...

Let's say you're on vacation, traveling, etc. You've lost your billfold/purse/wallet with all your money, credit cards, checks (cheques, for you weirdos - you know who you are).

What do you do now?

You have friends/family that can, and will, help you by sending you some money. How do they send it? You don't have any ID. Remember? Try walking into a bank, even YOUR bank, and withdrawing some money without any ID. It's not going to happen, regardless of your tales of misery and woe.

Now, if you were in said situation, walked in to a WU/MG and had the clerk treat you as if you were a criminal, all because a very small percentage of WU/MG transactions were scam related, would you have the same opinion about how WU/MG should run their business?

I have very nearly been in that situation, and I can assure you that the thought of being able to have my wife send money, without needing any ID to collect it, was reassuring.

Everyone can think whatever they want about the issue, but I would caution folks to use some judgment before clicking "submit", when throwing about conjecture and opinion.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^Cheers! I used WU once in my life to send money to my sister who had been mugged while on vacation. She had no ID and thankfully didn't need any in order to collect.

Can't remember if she ever paid me back though....

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MuzunguTheHuntress
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
You have friends/family that can, and will, help you by sending you some money. How do they send it? You don't have any ID. Remember? Try walking into a bank, even YOUR bank, and withdrawing some money without any ID. It's not going to happen, regardless of your tales of misery and woe.


It has happened - mugged while out of the country. Fortunately, the embassy took care of it & at least provided temporary papers. Originally that's what the Q&A were there for, to verify people without ID - but it's not even an option (to give a question/answer) when sending to some countries. That's why the 'bypass' or 'override' - with a phone call from the agent. If somebody shows up with a recent police report that their ID was lost / stolen, or a letter from the embassy, or some other document - the report should be good enough for ID - a phone call to WU could by-pass the required ID. (and i must have a really unusual bank - i've never had to show ID except when opening the account.)

I gave MG the wrong mtcn yesterday - even *with* photo ID & the test question / answer - he couldn't collect... and called me at 3am His voice mail said ... "are you baiting me?"

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Dharma
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

WU can't control some corrupt societies, where a clerk can be bribed easily to release the money without a proper checking.
Wiring money this way is untraceable and only used by individuals who know each other personally.

WU has done its best to tackle this problem:
-They put clear warnings in their sites and outlets.
-They give a number to call to cancel the payment before it's picked.
- In some cases, they even intervene physically to stop people from sending money to scammers.

They can not be blamed for individuals decisions. If he/she insists on sending money to someone they don't know from the internet, so let it be. It's their choice .

Copied from here, I'm too lazy to write a new answer Laughing . Also, it seems nothing has changed since. Lads still can pick the money anywhere in the world:
http://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1832543&highlight=#1832543

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This is a genuine effort by WU to protect those who send money to Nigeria
http://nigeria.westernunion.com/WUCOMWEB/staticMid.do?method=load&countryCode=NG&languageCode=en&pagename=promo_NGNote&pid=NG_NigeriaNote_0910

Of course it depends on the Nigerian clerk. Lads really appreciate this explanation as to why I can't send them the money by WU Rolling Eyes

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Shinsengumi
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hey guys! Actually WU/MG do require ID to collect the money, but there are some countries who have their own restrictions how to pay out the money so it all depends on the region... plus fraudster often use fake ID's.. also Tsnerd you do understand that i cannot give you a lot of info..
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jose_cuervo
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:51 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Shinsengumi wrote:
...also Tsnerd you do understand that i cannot give you a lot of info..


I doubt anyone here will be giving you a lot of info either. Laughing

I mean, how would we know that you're not just looking to collect some errant funds with the info we would provide?

We're a suspicious bunch, so don't take it personally, it comes with the territory. Wink

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Somehow,I feel this will end badly. Rolling Eyes

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Shinsengumi
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

jose_cuervo wrote:
Shinsengumi wrote:
...also Tsnerd you do understand that i cannot give you a lot of info..


I doubt anyone here will be giving you a lot of info either. Laughing

I mean, how would we know that you're not just looking to collect some errant funds with the info we would provide?

We're a suspicious bunch, so don't take it personally, it comes with the territory. Wink


i see your point.. fair enough:) one thing i can tell you is that i work in fraud department in one of previous mentioned companies


Last edited by Shinsengumi on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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Tsnerd
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
...also Tsnerd you do understand that i cannot give you a lot of info..


No, not really, actually.

We have a long standing relationship with various law enforcement organizations, financial institutions and media organizations spanning continents.

In each case, that relationship has been vetted to confirm that not only what was being offered was legitimate but that the person offering was whom he or she said he or she was. Not all endeavors turned out successfully, but in each we knew whom we were dealing with, we kept confidentiality and both sides focused on the given goal of the arrangement.

If you want, I will politely explain my opinion about Walter Mitty in PM.

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Shinsengumi
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Btw guys I had few cases when people were resending money which they received to their Bank account, now can someone explain to me whats the point to play a guy for 7-9 months just for him to resend the money as he never sent any money to them previously? Supposedly he's sending his girlfriends salary...
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
whats the point to play a guy for 7-9 months just for him to resend the money as he never sent any money to them previously?


Money mule? keeping 10% & sending the balance to the *real* scammer?

Maybe he bought something from the local version of Craigs List - or eBay - or maybe it was for his under-the-table viagra n vicodan order .... (or on the dark continent, mi rra & dagga)

That's a question that has *way* too many answers - as many answers as there are legitimate (and not so legitimate) reasons to send money. To get the answer, you'd probably need a full-blown law enforcement investigation.

And even then you might find out the recipient was his cousin & he was sending funds for granny's doctor bills.

And the important question - how do *you* know what was in his bank account? Unless your company tracks transactions & keeps financial tabs on people.

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Hitlad Anderson .. "you lie Gomer...........
Gomer, what the hell do you want from me, be BOLD to tell me?" (who knew .. Gomer had a sex change?)
Inept with the video splitter, romance lad Ray Robinson .. "...I have never been to Hoosgow but will like to have a trip there on day." <laddie, I hope to help you with that. Twisted Evil>
Anderson: ask the Doc if my perfect sperm can make you pregnant and i wont fail. (to my character's recent surgery - a hysterectomy.)
'abeg' challenged "David Nelson", worlds most inept romance lad: se u won dey abuse me ni?? (from english to laddish in 2.5 seconds.)
Easter Egg 2012 Closed lad accounts x8 Mc Fry
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Shinsengumi
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Joined: 14 Aug 2012
Posts: 12


PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:24 am Reply with quoteBack to top

well we get info from victims... had a guy who was toyed by Vlad, said that he supposedly received funds from India, for somekind of a job Vlad did and he was resending the whole amount. Didn't send any money previously, and was in contact with Vlad for 7-9 months, there must be somekind of a hook.
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