Every day we handle complaints from our customers who have been fooled and lost their money. Sometimes it is a smaller amount of money, sometimes the amount exceeds even a million CZK (the customer has sent several amounts during a longer period of time). Mostly, they are the customers who did take our advice or have silenced the real reason of sending the funds and still sent it (for example, a typical "I know the payee personally").
If our operator asks you for the reason sending the money, please answer all question truthfully. In case the transaction will not be recommended, consider everything, or consult it with your family or friends. The biggest mistake people do in this moment is contacting the person to whom they want to send the money. If your attention has been drawned to a possible fraud, never consult it the payee! The only exception is only the situation if you have a suspicion someone has hacked into your friend's mailbox.
Fraudsters always use false identity cards to collect money and the names under which they pass off are most likely made up.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our operators at the green line 800 22 11 00.
Pay special attention if:
- It you were told by phone that you have won in a lottery, or in any other competition but you should pre-pay some fees or postage to receive the prize.
- You were asked to pay a fee in advance to get a loan.
- You were called by the police to inform you that your friend or relative had a car accident or was arrested and needs money to pay for treatment or bail!
- You get a phone call and you have been told how to answer the questions put by the Western Union operator!
- You got unknown letter or fax from Nigerian or other foreign government representatives requesting assistance in the transfer of funds from a foreign country to your personal bank account!
- You received a bank check or postal order for the amount significantly higher than expected, inadequate invoice for the goods sold, and you were asked to return the difference of money through Western Union.
- E-commerce has more payment options, but for this particular transaction requires payment of "money transfer".
- You received an e-mail from somebody that says it is working with the seller, and that the requested goods will be shipped after the payment of the amount.
- Money transfer is sent in the name of a relative or non-existing person, or contains a test question and answer for delays or timing the payment until the goods are not delivered!
- Online store uses the unpaid e-mail address or the person or company is located outside your country.
- Send money only to your well known person.
- Contact your local police station or commercial inspection, if you received a suspicious fax, mail, mail or phone!
- In the case of online store check other sites regarding the person or company! Check the identity of the person by yourself.
- Make sure you always buy at respectable companies.
- Collect as much as possible information about the online store, especially if the only information available are from a website or email addresses!
- Find out the conditions under which the online store provides its services.
- WU only provides money transfer and its only obligation is to deliver the money transfer on time to the recipient!
- It is your responsibility to check the reputation and legitimacy of the seller!
- Control question, and the answer is only for emergency cases when the recipient can not provide proof of identity. They should never be used as additional securing element or for timing of payments.
- WU is not responsible for delivery of any goods or services.
Here is the list of 14 most common types of frauds that we encounter every day:
I sell goods and I have to pay for it
Package from abroad
- Have you got to known a soldier, ship captain, etc. via the internet and he wants make you happy by sending you a package of high value or important documents?
- Do you have to pay the customs fees, deposit fees at the airport, etc.?
This type of fraud we call "package" and unfortunately, we are encountered it quite often, and in all of our known cases, it was always a fraud. Men who get acquainted with women through the internet get a good monthly money. One amount is usually followed by some more, usually for another reason.
Common destinations: Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
Work / Apartment abroad
- Are you going to travel and are you looking for help with working visa or finding accommodation?
- Has anyone contacted you on the Internet promising you to handle all needed documents and asking you to pay a certain amount in advance via WESTERN UNION?
Agencies engaged in this business have bank accounts and you can easily find references to them. Consider, then, whether to send money to a stranger without any guarantee of the promised service, or rather to look after a certified agent.
- Have you received an email saying that your distant and very rich relative died abroad and you are the sole heir of his property?
- Has the sender introduced himself as a lawyer of that fictitious relative or as a bank employee who manages his finances?
- Do you have to pay in advance the costs associated with the settlement of the inheritance, such as a transfer fee, a lawyer's fee, etc.?
If you really inherit property from a relative abroad, the lawyer or the estate administering the deceased is not going to contact you by e-mail anyway, and the exact content of the estate will always be communicated to you personally. To pay any lawyer through WESTERN UNION is completely absurd and it is only a fraud from the recipient-fraudster.
Common destinations: Africa and the USA.
- Have you received an email asking for any amount to be sent to a charity that helps people in need?
- Have you responded to this request and you are in contact several times a day?
We can assure you that charitable associations do not send any such emails.
So if you want to contribute to any charity or humanitarian organization or foundation, try to find out all the information and send money to the account number listed on their website. If the recipient claims that their company does not have a bank account, do not send the money!
A friend without money
- Have your friend contacted you with having gone abroad, robbed, and begging you to send him money?
It is possible that somebody has hacked into your friend's e-mail and sent to everyone in his address book, even you, a false message on his behalf for his own enrichment.
In any case, we recommend you to contact the person by telephone to authenticate the text in the e-mail. If your friend is able to contact you for any reason only via e-mail, Facebook, etc., and you think it's not a fraud, check his identity with some questions that only your friend knows the right answers.
Win in the lottery
- Have you got an email from an unknown person stating you won the lottery, but you have to pay a certain amount, for example, for legal services or to pay a bank to release the payment?
To the above, we also add that these emails are often shielded by a large corporation (Microsoft, Interpol, etc.). Anyway, this is a fraud and we recommend you not to send the money! If a name of a known company is mentioned, it is merely a misuse of its name for the fraudster’s own enrichment.
Purchase of goods
- Have you found in the internet someone abroad selling very cheap goods (car, mobile etc.) and you want to buy it?
- Have the person recommended you to use the WESTERN UNION service, or have they advised you to put your name or name of your relative as a recipient for your certainty that they will not collect the money until you receive the goods?
We have been experiencing this kind of fraud for many years and its principle is simple: You and the recipient agree that you send money, for example, to the name of John Smith. You send the agreed amount and, to enable the payee to verify the payment on the Internet, you will also give him the money transfer control number (MTCN) that is required for money withdrawal. After verification of the payment, the recipient arrives at the WESTERN UNION office, submits a false identity document to the name of John Smith and collects it. Then he will tell you that there is a problem with the goods and they will retreat from the sale. So you go to the WESTERN UNION office to cancel the payment, but the operator tells you, to your surprise, that the money has already been received by the payee, so the payment can not be cancelled...
Unknown person without money
- Have an unknown person contact you claiming to be a stolen tourist with a need to get home?
- Is he staying in a hotel, having nothing to eat and coming up with the other stuff?
To supply our above-mentioned questions, we can say that the whole story may include, for example, that the spouse of the person who contacted you is dead, the children are relatives, but they do not have enough money to help him / her. If you are in touch e.g. via Skype, weeping for the credibility of the whole story is nothing unusual.
I sell goods and I have to pay for it
- Have you sold the goods on the Internet, you have already sent it to the receiver and now he asks you to send money for unexpected expenses related to the carriage of goods, customs duties, etc., but they state they are going to send you this amount sooner, even though you have not yet got the payment for the goods?
If you decide to sell any goods, you will surely recognize that it is nonsense for you, as seller, to pay for it. The price of the goods should be agreed in advance with the buyer. Do not pay to anyone other than the post office or courier service that you send the parcel directly.
Overpay via PayPal
- Do you sell goods on the Internet and the person interested in this product has written to you that he has paid for PayPal more than the sale price and asks you to return this overpayment via WESTERN UNION?
- Has your interested party sent a scanned copy of the payment receipt via PayPal via e-mail?
If so, we recommend that you verify your payment directly through the PayPal website, where you will most likely find that no money has come to you. A copy of the receipt you received is false. Unfortunately, this is just another example of how scammers are enriching at the expense of someone else.
- Did you get acquainted with dating a woman and she tells you that she lives in poor living conditions?
She asked you to send money through WESTERN UNION or even promised to come for you, but she did not have enough money on the ticket and begged you if you would not send her some money?
We encounter this kind of fraud, unfortunately, very often, and in all our known cases it was always a fraud. Women who become acquainted with men over the Internet under these circumstances will get very good money on a monthly basis. One amount is usually followed by several others, always for another reason.
Common destinations: Russia and Ukraine.
Soldier on mission
- You have received an email from a completely unknown person and it describes the story of a soldier in his state on a mission but was robbed and has no way of getting back to his country?
- Has this person begged you to send the money to him because the soldier also lost his papers and, once the money came, he promised to give it to him?
If the soldier lost the documents and money on the mission, he would in no case contact the civilian for financial assistance (in the distant parts of the food).
Once the soldier has reached the civilization and even the places where the WESTERN UNION is located, there is no doubt that there will be police or other institutions nearby to help him.
Common destinations: Afghanistan, Nigeria and the USA.
Buying an animal
- Did you find an ad on the internet that someone sells an animal abroad and want to buy it?
- Did the recipient receive the first payment, but then wrote that you have to send extra money for airport duty, worming, etc.?
If you decide to purchase a live animal from abroad, thoroughly check the seller. Rather, try to contact a breeding station that has its website as well. The case described here is a fraud. We can assure you that the seller does not actually own any animal. So do not send the money!
Common destinations: Africa, Belgium and France.
- Did someone ask you to pay outside the Airbnb site?
If so, we recommend that you thoroughly read the text that is directly on the Airbnb site. It is most likely a fraud.