Wire transfers can be a convenient way to send guaranteed funds quickly. That makes them an attractive way for criminals to steal funds. Fortunately, our crack team of fraud prevention experts here at FirstBank has some advice to help you protect your hard-earned money and prevent you from becoming a victim of wire fraud. Before conducting your next wire transaction, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you know the person receiving the funds?

Be extra careful when dealing with individuals or businesses unknown to you and practice extreme caution in the following situations:

  • You’ve never met or spoken directly with the person or business. It’s especially a red flag if all communication with the other party has been electronic
  • You’re dealing with entities out-of-state or in foreign countries
  • You’re working with individuals who claim to represent a foreign government

How did you receive the payment instructions?

Fraudsters work very hard to compromise email systems, create fake websites, or initiate fake phone calls to misdirect valid payments into their hands. Always verify payment instructions in-person or over the phone using a phone number that is publically available, just to ensure the instructions weren’t tampered with. For example, if you wanted to verify wiring instructions for FirstBank, you could call our 24-hour toll-free number, which is publicly listed and easily accessible.

Do you have any reason to doubt the validity of the payment?

Too often, fraud victims ignore that gut feeling that tells them when something is wrong. If you have even the slightest sense of doubt regarding the validity of the requested transaction, contact your bank to investigate further. Major warning signs include:

  • Pressure from the recipient to expedite the payment
  • Payment is required prior to receiving the goods or services
  • The related business deal seems “too good to be true”
  • The recipient needs you to return some funds due to a prior “overpayment”
  • You responded to an online employment advertisement which prompted this transaction
  • You were notified that you won a lottery or other prize which prompted this transaction

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about any transaction, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so we can help you determine its validity. For more information about security and privacy, visit efirstbank.com.

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