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Is Wire Transfer 100% Secure?
fraud ghana credit card wire transfer
titani




msg:3500461
 10:56 am on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hello,

I am receiving orders from an individual in Ghana, and I just became aware of credit-card fraud. So I wrote this customer, who sounds legitimate, and I told him that we now accept only wire-transfer or western-union from international customers. He wrote back, and told me that wire-transfer is fine with him. I am still worried. Is wire transfer 100% secure? Can he get the money back? Are they any loopholes, things to look after? Please help me. Thank you very much.

T.I.

 

jdMorgan




msg:3500556
 2:05 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

> Can he get the money back?

Yes. Beware...

Previous threads here [google.com]. Read this one [webmasterworld.com] in it's entirety.

Jim

titani




msg:3500579
 2:20 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

How can he get the money back, if it is already in my account, and what if I remove that money from the account?

jdMorgan




msg:3500588
 2:27 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

If his payment to the transfer service is bogus, then there really wasn't any money to begin with, and you get to pay for the products you shipped. Read those threads -- unless you can afford this loss.

Assume that you have been targeted for fraud because you are a "rich Westerner" when dealing with these unlikely orders.

Jim

Green_Grass




msg:3500618
 2:53 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

titani

If the wire transfer is done, you will receive real MONEY in your bank account. Do re confirm with your bank that the funds have actually arrived and not in transit.

Once,the funds are in house, there should be no problem shipping the goods on pre paid basis. You are safe because you have received the money. The buyer CANNOT take back the money he has transferred in your account. This is against banking norms.

As you are not asking for a credit card payment, which can be subject to dispute, you are quite right in thinking you are safe.

BTW, you are very lucky to have a customer, who is willing to pay 100% in advance, with TT ( bank transfer) before shipment. Many will insist on 50% - 60% advance, balance after shipment. We do this with customers all over the world, however we normally play safe with some suspect countries where we insist for 100% advance, bank transfer.

In fact, when he makes a 100% bank transfer, he is the one taking the RISK.. not you.

You will though, be debited a minor charge by your bankers.. which you may check in advance with your bank.

titani




msg:3500673
 3:26 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

This makes sense. It is what I hoped to hear. Thanks.

jsinger




msg:3500701
 3:57 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Do re confirm with your bank that the funds have actually arrived and not in transit.

No! take the money out of the account immediately, in cash. Use a virgin account that has no money in it or ever will.

This is an order from Ghana, for crying out loud!

Talk to a top exec at your bank about security, not a teller or a branch manager. Then talk to another one. Tell them you are RELYING on them for advice (so you can sue them and the bank later if need be). Get a guarantee in writing from them that the wire transfer can't be reversed. Be sure to tell them the order is coming from Ghana. (as in next door to Nigeria)

Did I mention:
This is an order from Ghana, for crying out loud!

If, by some longshot it is good, Expect to get a much bigger order within days that isn't good.

jsinger




msg:3500740
 4:24 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Some other possibilities:

They're promising a wire transfer in hopes you'll go ahead and ship before the cash arrives: 1)because you'll see their acquiescence as proof of their honesty, or 2) because some idiot in your shipping dept. screws up and ships the goods before the cash arrives.

[good news] "It is what I hoped to hear"

Of course, and every 419 victim hopes he'll get his share of $100 mil. Reality is a bite.

Be prepared to walk away from this deal at first whiff of more problems.

jdMorgan




msg:3500803
 4:47 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

> Use a virgin account that has no money in it or ever will.

Yes, because as noted in one of the threads referenced above, sometimes it's your bank account details that are the target.

Jim

Green_Grass




msg:3500810
 4:54 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Jsinger

While I respect your views..

Money is money.. If it is in the account in my bank, no one can take it away...

We have in the past shipped container loads of textile yarns to countries as diverse as Morocco, Tunisia, Ecuador, Peru, Egypt etc..

If I had to follow your advise, I guess the Spinning mill (factory), for which I was selling 300 Metric Tonnes of yarns every month, would have closed down long back.. while I kept suing the banks..

IF

Money has been received in the account.

If the funds are in the account...

Then even if the supplier does not ship any goods..the buyer has very little recourse.. The RISK has been transferred to the Buyer.. In this case the poor Ghana buyer will be scr**wed.. Spare a thought for him also.. ;-)

The only potential problem, I can see is...

The Ghana buyer may fax documents showing the Bank transfer (TT) to the supplier.. Then ask for shipment giving the argument that money is in transit and will reach in 3 - 4 days.. Then when the goods are raedy to go.. say something like.. The funds got routed to the wrong bank.. I am now correcting the mistake.. pls ship...

Then start misbehaving and putting pressure to ship...

Then IF the supplier ships....he is scr***wed.

Gullible suppliers can make the mistake to ship without the funds in bank.. That is why I said.. MAKE SURE FUNDS ARE IN BANK ACCOUNT, THEN SHIP WITHOUT WORRY...

jsinger




msg:3500834
 5:31 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

If it is in the account in my bank, no one can take it away

Utterly untrue. Several sellers here have had counterfeit check transactions reversed, sometimes weeks later.

We have in the past shipped container loads of textile yarns to countries as diverse as Morocco, Tunisia, Ecuador, Peru, Egypt etc..

Yeah, so where's Nigeria and Ghana on that list?

They don't call 'em Tunisian or Peruvian Letter Scams.

jsinger




msg:3500868
 6:07 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Note that titani never said where he is located. My comments are based on U.S. law as existed when I graduated from law school eons ago.

Philosopher




msg:3500875
 6:16 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Green_Grass. I think you are assuming that the person wiring the money is the actual account holder.

If this is so, then you are likely correct. The W/T, once completed is pretty much a done deal.

The issue is whether or not the person making the order IS the actual account holder, or if the person is using an unauthorized account.

If the person is fraudulently using someone else's account to send the W/T (which can happen...especially from the nigerian/ghana area), then it's possible that the W/T could be reversed once the fraud is discovered and the seller would be on-the-hook for possible bank charges and the items shipped.

titani




msg:3500908
 7:00 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

What if they transfer the money to my account, from an an-authorized account. Basically, also fraud. Can the transfer be reversed? What if I move the money out of the account once I receive it, can it still be reversed?

Thanks

Bjorn Iceland




msg:3500909
 7:02 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

GreenGrass wrote:
Once,the funds are in house, there should be no problem shipping the goods on pre paid basis. You are safe because you have received the money. The buyer CANNOT take back the money he has transferred in your account. This is against banking norms.

Unfortunately that's not true with SWIFT and IBAN wires, and certainly not true of ACH 'wires' within the US which are as soft as credit cards (although I expect you are asking about a SWIFT wire).

If fraud occurs, and enough pressure is applied the sending bank can recall a wire sent internationally. All you can do is not have the funds in the bank account when ther recall hits, but then of course you will have other troubles.

jdMorgan is quite correct with those useful links specific to Ghana.

From a previous post [webmasterworld.com]:
I always like to treat people as individuals and not just as a member of some group, but the amount of fraud originating from the following countries is the majority, way more than 50% of all orders from there. So credit and debit card orders from these countries are guilty until proven innocent:

Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Lebanon, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, or Vietnam.

That's also true of bank wires.

titani




msg:3500920
 7:15 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Please, where are these links specific to Ghana?

jsinger




msg:3500937
 7:37 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

This reminds me of a thread on 419eater.com where some English scam baiters obtained the phone numbers of a few potential victims and tried to alert them to the risk.

How did the victims react to the telephoned warnings? Several told the do-gooders to butt out and not try to horn in on THEIR windfall.

There's only so much that can be done to protect people who really want to believe in implausible windfalls.

jsinger




msg:3501003
 8:36 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Two more examples of how "guaranteed" wire transfer deals backfire:

Crooks approach merchants and ask for large orders: $50,000 to $200,000, and even agree to pay via wire transfer in advance.

Later the scammers givet some excuse about the impossibility of sending a bank wire transfer. They tell the merchant they will send a check that the merchant can deposit and wait for it to clear, before shipping. In that case, many merchants feel safe because they will have the funds before shipping. What the fraudsters do is counterfeit checks from a medium to large U.S. company that usually has enough funds to cover the size of check they intend to send, imitating the signatures very well. When asked why was it a company check from a company that is not their company, they state that it was a payment that the U.S. company owed them. Banks usually pay those checks. Only when the U.S. company notices that they did not issue the check and complains to the Bank, the Bank debits the account of the merchant. By then, the merchant has already shipped the goods.

Often the fraudsters do not tell the merchants that they will not issue the wire. They agree to the wire but ask the merchant for their Bank's address. The fraudsters send a check directly to the merchant's Bank with a note asking to deposit it to the merchant's account. Unsuspecting Bank Officers deposit the check, and then the fraudster contacts the merchant stating that they made a "direct deposit" into the merchant's account. Since the check is a good counterfeit, it is paid by the Bank before the bank charges back the check to their depositor.

titani




msg:3501014
 8:46 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thank you, this is very educational. I guess, when I look at my account's activity, I will be able to tell if this is a deposited check, or a wire transfer. That leaves one thing, if it is a wire transfer, and fraudulent, will my bank send the money back. And what happens when I take that money from the account.

Philosopher




msg:3501024
 8:57 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

again...it is possible that your bank may reverse the W/T if the transaction was fraudulent.

Since it will be an international wire transfer, no one here can say "yes" for certain, but if the bank that was used to send the fraudulent wire transfer puts enough pressure on your bank, yes, they could.

What if you've removed the money? Well, it wasn't a legal transfer and if you've removed the money and your bank wants it back all kinds of things could happen such as bank charges, possible criminal charges (you would now be a party to the crime), your account shut down, etc.

Basically, if it was fraudulent, you have no right to the money and if you try and keep it you are committing a crime and deserve whatever happens.

jsinger




msg:3501031
 9:11 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

if it is a wire transfer, and fraudulent, will my bank send the money back. And what happens when I take that money from the account.

You're asking what happens if you quickly yank fraudulent transfer money from your account? Bank will ask you nicely to return it. Then they'll sue you for it. As a last resort they bring criminal charges which happened to a local TV celebrity here years ago. Bank mistakenly put a huge sum in her checking account ... and she spent it all! Went to jail for quite some time as I recall.

If you have other assets with the bank (say, other accounts, CDs etc) I believe they can go against those.

You do realize that bankers write most of the banking laws LOL

titani




msg:3501053
 9:45 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Say, I receive the funds, I ship the merchandise. Yet, somehow, the buyer is a scammer. You are saying, the bank that transfers the money, can request, from my bank, that the money gets sent back. If this happens, that will leave me out of merchandise, and out of the money. Is this scenario likely?

HRoth




msg:3501073
 10:20 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

titani, you should talk to your bank. I was getting wire transfers when I was in another business and had a lot of international customers and no way to take credit cards. Lots of legitimate businesses use wire transfers for international trade where the amount is not big enough for a letter of credit. You should have a separate account for accepting wire transfers, and the money should be removed as soon as it arrives. That's how companies can simply publish their banking details (wire routing and account number) in their catalogs. The transfer should be sent using the SWIFT system. ACH is just an electronic check. Giving your account number out is not going to mean that foreigners or anyone else can remove stuff from your account. After all, people give their account info out every day on paper checks. The SWIFT system uses a different routing number than a checking account anyway.

I asked my bank about reversals back when I was doing this. They told me another bank could request the money be returned, but the recipient bank did not have to abide by their request. However, they said if the sending bank stated that the transaction was fraudulent, they probably would send it back. I never got any fraudulent ones, but I never had one from Ghana either.

I agree with the poster who said you should talk to someone above a teller. IME, most tellers don't know anything about international transactions of any kind. If you call your bank's 800 number, there should be a department in charge of international transactions where you can talk to someone who knows what they're doing. You can just tell your customer that you must check with your banker first to make sure you have all the details right.

ispy




msg:3501107
 10:47 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Bank wire transfers are safe. He cannot pull the money back out once it is received. It needs to be a transfer from one bank to another (not western union crap). It can be reversed due to bank error (rare). Bank wire transfer is the standard for collecting good money internationally.

The danger with bank wire transfers is having to give your account number, routing number etc, out for the transfer. This can be used to develop fake checks for example. Its on all your checks though, so you need to make a judgement call about who you are giving it to as to the extent of their possible deviance.

Forget the western union stuff though, without going into specifics there are loopholes there. Stay away from western union.

Why assume they will later try to send a check? Call their bluff. If the cash is transfered its good. If things get complicated its a scam.

titani




msg:3501120
 11:08 pm on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I like to agree. It is logical to think, that once my customer transfers the money to my account, my customer cannot pull the money back, nor his bank can. I am trying to be sure, because my customer is in Ghana, a country known for scams.

I would like to say, that he first payed with a credit card. Then I became aware of the credit card scams. So for his last order, I requested that he pays with wire transfer.

Someone told me, that they can wire from bank accounts that do not belong to them. In which case, my back will send the money back.

Gravy! Today I truly wished this world does not have thieves.

Green_Grass




msg:3501312
 6:42 am on Nov 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Jsinger

I read your comments with interest.

It is ofcourse true, fraudulent checks / credit card transactions can be reversed. But we are talking international Bank TT's.

Also I have never heard of a bank TT being reversed. If you have, I guess I got to broaden my horizons.

The Bank TT is a Bank to Bank transaction. Once 'authenticated TT ' is received it cannot be reversed.

Most foreign banks have a corresponding bank in the USA ( mostly New York). The Buyer bank will normally ask the supplier bank to debit the corresponding bank in the USA with an authentication key. How the heck! can that 'key' be forged by the Ghana buyer is beyond my understanding as it undermines the whole banking system.

However, the decision rests with titani.. He/She can check with his/her local bank, the best way to proceed. It is best to talk to the Foreign Exchnage department of the bank that deals in such matters..

sniffer




msg:3501399
 10:46 am on Nov 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Has anyone ever successfully shipped an order to Ghana? Serious question. Because i cancel every order from that country and i'm not about to change this practice without plenty of success stories ;)

Bjorn Iceland




msg:3503456
 7:31 am on Nov 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Green_Grass wrote:
The Bank TT is a Bank to Bank transaction. Once 'authenticated TT ' is received it cannot be reversed.

Most foreign banks have a corresponding bank in the USA ( mostly New York). The Buyer bank will normally ask the supplier bank to debit the corresponding bank in the USA with an authentication key. How the heck! can that 'key' be forged by the Ghana buyer is beyond my understanding as it undermines the whole banking system.


As Philosopher and jsinger have patiently explained and I will repeat again, just because real money appears in your account by
telegraphic transfer AKA bank wire, that does not mean the real bank account holder sent it.

In short order (when the fraud is uncovered, and that's only a matter of time) if the amount is large or the pressure from the sending bank sufficient, the wire will be recalled and that very real money will go back where it came from. The allowable period for such a recall is in the years.

There are several ways for a scammer to get access to an account and/or to perform fraudulent transfers. From phishing attacks, social engineering against the real customer or bank, to simple bribery. It is not that difficult to temporarily impersonate the legimitate account holder for a period of time, or for one transaction.

If such fraudulent wires were NOT recalled, that would undermine the banking system. Think about it.

While bank wires are the closest thing to cash (next to Western Union) they are NOT cash.

Green_Grass




msg:3503463
 7:45 am on Nov 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

great..

So I should now stop worrying about phishing attempts..
because the money that goes out of my bank account will come back when I complain..

No worries..for me anymore.

Habtom




msg:3503464
 7:48 am on Nov 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

So, what do you guys advice to make Wire Transfer as safe as possible even if it means waiting for days more before shipping?

This 40 message thread spans 2 pages: 40 ( [1] 2 > >
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