Yes, wire transfers are safe, as long as you are working with credible institutions and people. A wire transfer is often initiated by your preferred financial institution, such as HFS Federal Credit Union. Cash offices like Western Union and many grocery or convenience stores also provide a means to initiate wire transfers.
A wire transfer is an electronic movement of money between financial institutions made on behalf of one consumer or business to another. It is useful in situations where timeliness and secure movement of funds is critical, as a wire transfer is a much faster and safer payment than mailing a paper check.
Outgoing wire transfers can be made in person or over the phone. An HFS Member Service Representative will complete a wire authorization form with your consent to transfer the amount you have requested. The authorization form will also contain information about your recipient’s receiving institution, such as their ABA routing number and the recipient’s account number and address. The Credit Union may establish a cut off time for the receipt and processing of a wire transfer. If the authorization form is received prior to the initiating institution’s and the receiving institution’s cutoff time, your domestic wire transfer request will usually be processed same-day (or second-day for international transfers). HFS FCU does not offer the ability to transfer funds internationally, but domestic wire transfers are available. There is a $25.00 fee for domestic wire transfers and international wire transfers are often charged a higher fee. It is customary in both instances for the sender of the wire transfer to pay any fees associated with the transfer.
What about wire transfer scams?
Wire transfers are one of the safest and fastest ways to transfer money from one account to another. However, we know that many are concerned about scams. As a financial institution, we are looking out for your best interest. If the reasons for sending a wire transfer seem suspicious or involve large sums of money, we will ask you questions about the purpose of the transfer. This is to help ensure that the reasons for the transfer are legitimate.
Unfortunately, wire transfers cannot be reversed even in the case of a scam. We never recommend sending funds to another person through a wire transfer if you do not know the recipient. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a request for funds, our staff at HFS Federal Credit Union are here to help. Visit us at any branch or give us a call at (808) 930-1400 and we can help you determine if it could be a potential scam.
4 Common Wire Transfer Scams to be Aware of
- Phishing Scams – a type of online scam that targets consumers by sending them an email that appears to be from a well-known source, for example a bank, a merchant or internet service provider. It asks the consumer to provide personal identifying information.
- IRS Fraud Scams – Scams involving the impersonation of the IRS in the form of phone calls, emails, tweets, or other online messages to taxpayers. The IRS does not send unsolicited emails to consumers requesting sensitive financial and personal information.
- Mortgage Wire Scams – Scams where hackers pose as a real estate agent, a lender or title company and convince a borrower to wire funds into a fake account during the closing process. The hacker uses fake emails, phone numbers or websites to impersonate someone you trust.
- “Emergency” Scams – This scam usually targets grandparents. A scammer calls or sends a message claiming to be a grandchild in trouble and urges the victim to wire money immediately to help with an emergency. The scammers play on the emotions of the elderly in an attempt to rob them of money.
It is always best practice to work with a financial institution that has safe wire transfer procedures. Visit our website for more information on fraud awareness.
What is the safest way to send money?
Wire transfers have existed for many years and are a proven secure and reliable funds transfer method when you are transacting with a known recipient. As a consumer, you need no special expertise to send a wire transfer if you are working with a trusted provider like HFS Federal Credit Union.
How do you wire money safely? – Tips for wire transfer safety
Wiring money is an easy way to directly transfer funds between two bank accounts and it can be accomplished by gathering the correct documentation and following the instructions provided. It is important to keep in mind the risks associated with wiring money and understand how to best protect yourself from fraud.
Tips for Wire Transfer Safety
- Protect your information – Never give out your bank account information to advertisers or unsolicited callers, or to anyone via text message or email. Make sure your electronic devices such as computers, phones and tablets are safe and the internet connection is secure. This will reduce the risk of having your financial and personal information stolen.
- Never wire money to anyone you don’t know – Don’t fall for enticing stories or work opportunities presented to you by a stranger. If someone you don’t know asks you to wire money, think carefully about granting that request.
- Beware of common scams – Be aware of common scammers’ bait. This would include work-from-home offers, deals on products for sale or news that you have won the lottery.
- Be wary of cash wire transfers – Problems that arise from wire transfers are often related to cash wire transfers like Western Union or MoneyGram. These companies do not verify the identity of the sender or the recipient.
- Check your bank statements regularly – Keep an eye on your bank statements. If there is a suspicious transaction, contact your financial institution immediately.
In Conclusion: Is a Wire Transfer safe?
Wire transfers are safe and secure, provided that you know the person who is receiving it. Using a wire transfer, a member can transmit a small or large amount of money instantly across the states, or internationally, provided that a chain of issuing, clearing and receiving institutions are present. When performed properly, wire transfers are a quick, reliable and safe way to move money. However, we know that scams can happen. Scammers may convince you to send funds to them through wire transfers and, unfortunately, wire transfers cannot be reversed even in the case of a scam. If you are unsure about sending a wire transfer, always contact your financial institution for guidance.