Before founding AiDEMONEY, I spent years as an attorney specializing in anti-money laundering and tax law. Through this experience, I gained key insights into the true dynamics of money transfer fraud. For more about my work defending African diaspora clients, you can read my full piece on money scams. But for the purpose of this article, know this: We all play a role in eliminating money fraud. That includes money transfer companies like AiDEMONEY, RegTech innovators who are using technology to identify fraud and, ultimately, Africans sending money back home.
The true nature of money transfer scams
We’ve all heard stories about romance scams: You meet someone online, and it moves quickly from there. Within a month, you’re in love. Within two, they’re asking you to send them money. These scams are perpetrated by a few bad actors—typically highly-educated youth with no opportunity to make a living—yet are causing many African diaspora to become targets of IRS and Department of Justice investigations. This despite the fact that they are making legal money transfers and are often victims of money fraud themselves.
By educating yourself on these money scam warning signs, you can avoid becoming a victim of fraud—and help dispel the money scam myth that is preventing so many Africans from participating in the U.S. financial system.
How to avoid money transfer fraud
Want to send money digitally but have a bad feeling about the transfer? Use these 14 red flags to avoid falling for a money scam.
What to do once you realize (or suspect) you’ve been scammed
If you think you’re a victim of money transfer fraud, take the steps below as soon as possible. Because every minute matters, I’ve listed these in order of importance.
Notify your bank immediately. Share as many details as possible and ask them to refer your case to law enforcement. (Law enforcement isn’t easy to engage, and your time is better spent connecting with your bank.)
Change your passwords to every online account, including your bank and social media logins.
Save screenshots of all communications you’ve had with the scammer, as well as proof of any money you’ve transferred to this person.
Cooperate fully with law enforcement, especially if they are setting up a sting to catch your scammer.
Tell everyone you know so that your friends and family don’t fall victim to the same type of scam. There’s no shame, and you’re not alone. Many people you know and respect have likely been victimized as well; by sharing, you can open up an important dialogue.
Sending money safely
Money scams do exist. Fraud happens. At AiDEMONEY, building a secure money transfer pipeline is our top priority—and rightfully so. But solving the challenge requires more than regtech alone; it also takes education, support for impoverished communities and a united African diaspora that tells its story. Send money safely with AiDEMONEY, the money transfer app for Africans Funding Africa.