It seems that only a few years ago sending money to a friend abroad could result in endless miscommunication and several waves of stress. But the process has gotten a lot easier and less prone to fraud as of late. So, if you’re traveling and find yourself stuck and in need of money all of a sudden, or have a loved one in need, you have plenty of options. The most popular remains through international wire transfers, the process of which has become much easier. Basically, this entails providing a well-known, specialized service-connected to most banks - with cash in return for a safe and convenient way of sending money overseas. You can send any amount you need, maybe even in the thousands, but you may have to pay a fee, depending on the fine print.
The following is a bit more information you need to know about international wire transfers and how they work.
International wire transfers are typically used when sending money to someone abroad. The caveat is that you are usually aware of who this person is and know them well. Otherwise, it may be an invitation to fraudulent activity. If you ever receive requests to send an international wire transfer from someone you don’t know, ignore as much as possible, or block the messages. Even if they seem fairly sophisticated, do not fall for the trap. As mentioned by the experts, you need to exercise extreme caution when it comes to things that are labeled as lotteries or sweepstakes, or the more sophisticated fake check scams generated by people posing as family members in trouble, or overpayment scams that urge people to send advance payments for services. These are almost never legitimate, so do not send the wire transfer. There are even things like mystery shopper scams, which may seem truly strange: you’re invited to be a mystery shopper and asked to evaluate a business. You are even sent a small check to deposit in your personal bank account as an advance - this is bad news because that allows the sender to steal your information straight away. So, only send wire transfers to people you know.
Money transfers are basically the same as sending cash - however, you need to make sure that the entity charged with taking care of your transfer is legitimate and offers protections for the sender. The best options to transfer money internationally will allow you a way to reverse or cancel a transaction if no one claims it after a number of hours. Also, since you send it through a verified lender, the recipient should be able to pick it up at an actual storefront, which gives it an extra stamp of approval, and thus security for the sender. So long as you make sure that the transfer company isn’t cooperating with a scammer, and go through a verified and well-received operation, your money should be safe.
When sending money, you should always check and confirm the details regarding the currency conversion rate. This is a common hidden fee that people tend to forget about. Then, right before finalizing the transaction, the bank will debit your account for the original currency but wire it for the foreign currency overseas. These particular kinds of international wire transfers wherein different currencies are involved can include steep fees. Also, if you don’t read the fine print and look into any other fixed fees or better understand a weak exchange rate, you may be losing more money than your recipient will not receive. So be sure to price everything out first.
In general, international wire transfers are a safe and convenient option when you are sending or receiving money to a person who does not have access to any other digital platform and needs to get out of a jam. While things are still much safer these days with wire transfers, exercising caution remains incredibly important.