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If someone asked you to mail them $200 in cash, would you do it? Probably not. Wiring money is just like sending cash in the mail. Once it’s gone, you probably won’t get it back — which explains why scammers tell you to pay that way. You’d think twice before mailing your hard-earned money — do the same thing before you wire money. Here’s what to know.

Scammers want your attention (and your trust) so they can ask you to wire money through a company like Western Union or MoneyGram. Some scammers weave a complex web of lies to get you to wire them money. They might find you on a dating app, earn your trust, and then say they have an emergency. That’s when they ask you to wire them money right away. And that’s a scam. Or a scammer might be lurking in a resale website where you posted an item for sale. They’ll “accidentally” overpay you — and “helpfully” suggest that you wire back the extra money. But that’s a scam. Always.

No matter what reason they give, never wire money to someone you haven’t met in person, who pressures you to pay immediately, or who says a wire transfer is the only way to pay. Only scammers ask you to do those things.

Already wired money to a scammer? You might feel embarrassed for losing money and for trusting them, but if you act fast, you might be able to get your money back:

Contact the wire transfer company or bank that you used to send the money right away. Tell them it was a fraudulent transfer and ask them to reverse the wire transfer and refund your money. Then report it to the FTC at

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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Tracy Hinson
August 08, 2023

I've had a couple of people do the same thing except using Cash App. One claimed to work for a Government Grant Department and the other claimed to be a famous musician.
These things are really getting to be too much.

Vanessa Snulligan
August 08, 2023

Thanks for sharing

Al Sanchez
August 09, 2023

Very helpful information.

Thank you!

August 09, 2023

The Euro Parcel Shipping Company keep asking money to deliver my box it’s been 4 months held captive. In exchange of money they said to preven interrogation I have to pay another 5,500 to get insurance for the Bullion Van bec that package is from the War Zone. I paid 10,550 bec the FBI In North Dakota hold it for a month. I have no more money to give them. That’s the important document on that box personal stuff. What we do to get that Parcel?

FTC Staff
August 09, 2023

In reply to by Rose

This sounds like a scam. Some scammers say they will send you valuable documents, cash, or gold. But then they say there is a problem with the shipping and say you must pay to get the package. They make up lies about customs fees, insurance fees, or other charges and tell you to pay. But really, there is no package. This is all a trick to get your money.

The real FBI and US Customs do not charge you fees to get packages. You can report this fraud to the FBI office close to you. This map of FBI offices shows where to find a local office:

Jacqueline Brown
October 23, 2023

In reply to by FTC Staff

Sounds like the same thing I've been through except I'm out of a whole lot more money than that I'm out of thousands of dollars for custom duty fees for insurance fees on the package because the package was valued at so much money I see why people don't want to tell their stories because you feel so stupid and so ignorant that you have been scammed out of so much money for so many silly reasons you don't even want to tell your family because you're embarrassed that you let this happen to yourself and the reality of it is you're going to lose everything because you trusted them not love them trusted them because this particular person played on my faith my integrity I pray I can make it I'm trying to find an agency to help me for free

August 14, 2023

I met Gabriel Hunter in dating site called Soudfa, he was so sincere and loving, he said he is 61 years widow with smarties daughter and 2 grandkids, sent me pics of everyone, he stated he lives in SC works as CIA agent, then he has this work offer at rig oil company in UAE offshore, then we supposed to meet Aug 5th, 😂 Aug 5th morning he asked me for $10K+ to pay this I know supplies company for his project, and his acc in USA is locked due to something, the whole story didn’t make sense to me, when I refused, he stopped texting, no sweet talk, all gone, I confronted him with all his lies, since I investigated all his talk, nothing made sense.
Why he would pay millions to supplies since he is just a site manager, by the way he sent me a fake driver license and tahr contract, both carry different middle name, I sensed fraud and scam right there but I was waiting for him to ask for money and he did. BTW I spoke to Gabby supposedly that’s the daughter, never spoke to her again! He made a very great plan, getting married by thanksgiving 😂. Never saw him in person never had a video call claiming UAE restricted the video call, but he can text all day, and he is offshore. Please be careful, it’s very bad out there. He sent me so many pics but sometimes young guy sometimes old guy with white beard, it was absurd! He is so sneaky and manipulative. He has an accent but I can’t determine which country!