Don’t Get Scammed

[ 0 ] October 7, 2015 |

We recently received a notice from one of our business partners warning us that they have noticed a significant spike in wire transfers being sent involving online dating, also known as “Romance Fraud Schemes”. In most cases, the fraudsters spend months establishing an online relationship with individuals to build trust. Eventually, the fraudster requests money for travel expenses to meet or for expenses like medical bills, legal costs, or visa expense associated with coming to America.

for love or money

Many of these scams go unreported because the victims are too embarrassed when they discover the romance was a farce to contact the police or financial institution involved in the transaction.

Following are examples of narratives used by romance fraudsters:

  1. Money is needed to pay for a passport to come meet.
  2. Money is needed because they are being held against their will by immigration authorities who demand bribes.
  3. They have had gold bars or other valuables seized by customs and need money to pay taxes to get them back before they can come visit.
  4. They are being held against their will for failure to pay a bill or requires money for hospital bills.
  5. They need the money to pay their phone or internet bills in order to continue communicating with the victim.
  6. They need the money for their or a relative’s urgent medical treatment.
  7. They need the money to successfully graduate from a school before they can meet.

Because of the increase in this type of fraudulent activity IAACU has built additional safely features into our wire processes to protect our members.  The best way to prevent these types of fraud schemes is by gathering a detailed purpose for every wire transfer and asking the appropriate follow up questions, especially if the individual sender is suddenly submitting a wire request that is out of the norm for them.

We all want to trust people, especially when a romantic relationship is being formed, but be aware these schemes are prevalent. Requests for access to money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers should be a Big Red Flag! It seems there is no end to the schemes of fraudsters, they will do almost anything to defraud and take advantage of anyone they can, it is our intention to protect our members from fraudsters whenever possible.

We offer our sincere appreciation for your membership!

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Category: CEO Corner

About the Author ()

Sean has been the Chief Executive Officer at the IAA Credit Union since June of 2005. He is a graduate of Illinois State University where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agribusiness with a minor in Economics. Sean and his family live in Eureka, Illinois.

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