Wire Transfer Scams and How To Avoid Them

If you’ve been online and had an e-mail address for any appreciable amount of time, you have likely been approached with one scam or another.

Wire Transfer Payment, Pay, Payment

One that is used to target both individuals and businesses are Wire Transfer scams. Read on to find out more.

What Are They?

There’s different ruses and background stories, but they all follow a similar line.

It basically goes something like this:

  1. Please can you provide a quote for <insert_name_of_service_or_product_your_business_provides>?
  2. You reply – “Of course, here’s your quote”.
  3. They respond – “Great, we’d like to go ahead. But can you do me a favour? “
  4. You ask – “What’s the favour”
  5. They respond – “Our contractor/design company/business associate/collaborator/auntie/uncle/dog doesn’t accept online payments – if you charge us <insert_much_larger_than_quote_amount_here> you can keep a third as a deposit and pass two thirds on to the other person please so that they provide their services/do their bit of the project/save my cat from drowning (delete as appropriate)”.

Sometimes for bonus points or the added effect, they’ll throw in a personal tragedy around point 4. Cue a relative dying, a tragic accident wiping out their family or being caught up in a recent newsworthy item such as national disaster or act of terrorism.


Step away from the credit cards and stop thinking about the money. This has dodgy written all over it. Cease communication with the person(s) or company in question immediately.

I’m curious though. What would happen?

You’d lose a lot of money. Here’s how.

Say you’re charging £1000 for your service.

They’re going to give you £3000 and let you pass on £2000 to their associate and let you keep the balance for your product/services.

You’ll start providing said products and services and pass on the £2000 via wire transfer.

The card used will likely be stolen or a chargeback will be issued. Leaving your account -£2000.

You’ve now provided your product or service for free, the ‘real’ £2000 you wire transferred somewhere in the world is gone (and untraceable).

You end up £3000 down – £1000 for the service or product you’ve now not been paid for and another £2000 down based on the money you sent to the scammer’s associate (or maybe even the scammer themselves) via wire transfer.

Remember The Old Adage…

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Be safe!

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[…] month, we covered how to keep yourself safe from Wire Transfer scams – they’ve been around for a while, but they’ve certainly made a resurgence […]

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