How to avoid getting scammed when sending money overseas

Before making an online money transfer, make sure you know how to spot a potential scam.

Xe Consumer

August 1, 2023 4 min read

Woman making an online transaction

One of the most common questions asked by new and potential money transfer customers is, “How do I know this isn’t a scam?”

When you’re sending money around the world and being asked to provide sensitive information (such as your Social Security number or your banking information), it’s important to be wary and use your best judgment.

If you’re not sure whether a service is legitimate, read up on the signs of a disreputable site, and don’t be afraid to be discerning.

Spot the signs of a scam

No site will come right out and announce, “This is a scam!” However, these features could be an indicator of a scam or disreputable service:

  • An unsecure site. Look at the site URL. Does it begin with “https”? Does your web browser display a closed padlock in the address bar? These are signs that a site is secure and will encrypt sensitive data and personal information—a must-have for any money transfer provider. If the URL begins with “http” or you see an open lock and red background in your address bar, you may not be able to trust the site to keep your information secure.

  • No presence. Look around the site. You should be able to find an “About Us” page as well as contact information and ways you can get in touch. Additionally, if you can’t find any trace of reviews, testimonials or mentions of customers who’ve used the service (and it’s not brand-new), that might be a sign that they aren’t quite what they claim.

  • Zero positive reviews. No company is perfect, and some negative reviews are inevitable. That being said, if you look around multiple review aggregators (such as Trustpilot, Yelp, and social media) and can’t find a single positive review (and many of the reviews include words like “scam”), it may be worth listening to the majority.

  • Too good to be true. We all want the best deal, but sometimes the best deal isn’t feasible. One example could be a money transfer provider offering rates that are significantly lower than competitors’ rates and mid-market rates, or claiming to be completely fee-free.

If you’re sending money, it’s also important to be aware of potential money transfer scams. You can read more about spotting fraudulent money transfer requests in our blog post here.

Where should you provide sensitive information?

If you’re providing sensitive information—such as your Social Security number, your address, or your banking details—online, it’s important that you provide it by secured means. As mentioned above, check that a website is secure before entering any personal information.

You shouldn’t ever need to provide sensitive information by email or social media messages (such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).

What information will Xe ask for, and how?

In order to verify your identity, Xe will ask you for your personal information when you register for an account. You can see what we ask for (and why) in our previous blog post on the subject.

When you initiate a money transfer, we will also require your banking information (so we can take the money from your account), your recipient’s banking information (so we know where to send the transfer), and your recipient’s name and address (to verify that they are the account holder). We’ll ask for all of this in our secure web platform. However, if you’ve called us to inquire about your transfer, you can also provide this information directly to our team over the phone.

In some cases, we might need additional information to verify your identity. If that is the case, we’ll send you an email and direct you to sign into your account and directly upload your documents there. We will not ask you to provide this information over email or through any other means.

If you ever receive a message from Xe asking to provide sensitive personal or financial information through an email or social media platform, please contact us. We’d be happy to verify whether the email is legitimate, and we’d like to do everything we can to ensure that our customers aren’t being targeted by scams.