HEB understands.

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HEB understands




I simply wish more places did the same. The only thing I think would improve this is if they mentioned something about why they made this modification.

Yes, without context, it may appear racist or xenophobic. Western Union maintains track and will begin to interrogate you. What is the name of the person’s mother, when was the last time you saw this person, how do you know this person, and so on. If WU is unhappy with the responses, they can refuse to send money.

Haa! That’s fantastic. It’s similar to going to an interview. Yeah, my stepmother works at a bank and they have to ask questions whenever there appears to be an unusual transfer, she said it’s usually really young or really old people that she gets in a lot and she has to explain that they’re being scammed…she even had one lady try and argue with her about it and how she trusts the person and they couldn’t scam her…. It was a hoax, surprise, surprise. HEB understands

You must lie. Tell them you have answers that will stand up to scrutiny. The person asking is a government agent who will try to make you pay taxes on the money. You don’t owe taxes, but tell the authorities that.”

HEB understands

“If you tell them I’m whatever they claim to be, they’ll try to steal your money.” I’m sure you wouldn’t go about telling strangers you have millions of dollars. They’d rob you blind and mug you! You are endangering yourself. I care about you and don’t want you to suffer.”

“I despise Western Union because they are not whatsoever religion they claim to be>” (used when the person claims to run a church). They despise God and will charge us far more in retaliation. If we could, we would utilize anything else, but this is our only alternative. If you tell them you’re a Satanist.”

Three possible explanations they’ll concoct to avoid answering the questions. Of course, lying can help convince some people it’s a scam and save some people money, so it should be done; nevertheless, it’s far from failsafe.

Wow, the bank may refuse to send MY money! Kudos to WU for keeping my money secure!

Scammers have been sucking the life out of the old and the innocent for far too long. I wish they would put up signs indicating “Scam possibility high.” Gift cards or Western Union should never be used to pay your electricity payment, IRS bill, Social Security issues, Jury Duty, or to someone you have never met. We will investigate any purchase that exceeds $100.”

My local Best Buy and WU started asking questions about them now! For example, an old lady came in and bought like $1000 worth of gift cards while I was standing behind her. They asked her if those gift cards were for her or for someone who called her or sent him a mail? She kept saying it was for a party and walked away with a $1000 gift card, which I’m sure she was scammed into doing a review about this store.

Some stores do put signs like that where the gift cards are, and I’ve seen a few personally, as well as photographs shared here.

Money leaving a country of origin causes inflation. I believe this is more of a case of shifting responsibility than a sense of civic duty. If a Western Union agent receives a lot of complaints about fraudulent transfers, WU will terminate their contract, which would be very costly in a place like Texas with a lot of migrant workers, which is why they’ve put up this sign.

The responsible thing to do would be to educate and train staff to be able to ask the right questions and engage with the customer, and only allow transfers to those countries when they are completely satisfied, which has the potential to prevent the victim from being scammed, rather than simply sending them out the door and down the street to the next WU agent.

I knew a lady who was denied by Wu three times before she was finally able to send it. They tried their hardest, this was their best idea. I mean yes but no, I volunteered at a job where I interacted with a bunch of people from those locations and they actually send money to their families back home. They shouldn’t suffer because of some idiots doing illegal stuff.

HEB understands

They will most likely allow actual Africans to transfer money home.

Given that it was printed and placed in a binder page, I assume it is not official business policy; yet, it should be the rule everywhere.

That would imply that no one could send money home to their families, despite the fact that there are 400,000 Nigerian immigrants in the United States.

Of course, there are residents and citizens of the United States who would send money to support their families in these nations, and it’s sad that this solution affects them, especially since scammers may undoubtedly get around this by involving a third party in another country.

If Trump did it, it would be for a racist cause, not a genuine one that he comes up with after the fact, so there’s the difference.

The fact that he refers to African countries as “shitholes” would contribute to that. I’d say it should be simple enough to ask for proof of their country of birth, so if you’re sending money to your mom in Nigeria, you have proof you’re Nigerian, whereas the old lady being romanced scammed by a Nigerian “Prince” does not.

In my experience, most Nigerian and Ghanaian immigrants are relatively wealthy, and they would most likely utilize their bank to transfer money to or from family members rather than a Western Union.

The risk of allowing people to potentially be defrauded outweighs the benefit of permitting genuine transfers to these countries.

Thank God, this won’t interfere with my unexpected (but top-secret) financial opportunity with South Sudanese royalty!

Dumb question, but suppose you had a valid reason for doing so.

My father is Nigerian, and his entire side of the family lives there. I also grew up with Nigerian “uncles and aunts” (family friends) in this nation who have family in Nigeria. They would negatively influence them, as well as their loved ones over there, and they aren’t scammers (doctors, dentists, IT, engineers, wtc.).

But my great uncle stated I had to send him money in order to receive my inheritance! This is nonsense. Just another reason why HEB is the finest.

Why isn’t there a paper trail when people are duped and money is transferred out of their bank? Why not simply block certain countries from the banking system if the money is transferred to a foreign country that will not allow tracing?




HEB understands

Typically, the paper trail concludes with a cash withdrawal. Most fraudsters will utilize Western Union or other money transfer services designed to allow for very fast money movement, while some have begun to employ cryptocurrency. Most bank fraud departments work around the clock to reverse fraudulent transfers, but even a few hours can make a difference.

Typically, numerous accounts are engaged in a transfer chain, and practically all of the owners of those accounts are either victims of fraud or mules who are just sending money around for a little percentage. Most typically, these are those who have fallen victim to job or investment scams, in which monies are moved from the initial victim into their accounts, only to be contacted and told there was an error and could they please pass the money further to the correct account?

Professional fraudsters limit their liabilities by making it difficult for banks to entirely shut down their ways without making life considerably more difficult for everyone else who legitimately utilizes these services.

Outstanding description. Bank transactions are frequently reversible, but there is nothing to revert because the money has been literally taken away.

The thing is the cash pick up at the end. That is what no one can recover because the money simply vanishes into thin air.

Scammers want you to complete the transaction as soon as possible for this reason. They want to be able to pick it up in cash from Western Union or their preferred mode of transfer as soon as the money is transmitted to them.

This is the primary reason that reversing banking transactions does not work, even when it is possible. The money has already been spent.

The premise is the same for large heists of millions of dollars from governments, hospitals, businesses, and so on, even if the manner is extremely different. They must get the money into an unreachable location as soon as feasible.

In one significant theft worth tens of millions of dollars, the gangsters were able to coerce a bank in a developing country into converting a large portion of it into their own cash currency. The extortion occurred since it was not strictly allowed under the country’s rules. They physically boxed the money, placed a ton of it onto trucks, and the trucks… well, we don’t know where they went.

When the US government intervened to assist in the recovery of the funds, they might have reversed a number of transactions. But there was nothing left to undo by then. They couldn’t get the money back because it had already been spent.

This is why money laundering with enormous sums of money exists. Almost every country needs you to show proof of where a substantial sum of money originated from. So, once the stolen money is transformed into cash, the fraudsters’ next difficulty is to participate in transactions or casino gambling or something else that will provide them with the documents they need to transfer the money back into a legitimate bank account where they may spend it normally.

I’d like to add:

Wire transfers are another popular target (and vector) for fraud since they are treated the same as cash when they arrive at their destination.

The fraudster will open an account, and the bank will deposit it if the information on the wire fits. When the fraudster receives the wire, they empty out the account and that’s the end of it. Scammers appreciate Green Dot Bank because they can open an account quickly and do everything online.

HEB understands

Many times, the bank is located outside of the victim’s country (for example, the “tech support fraud” or the “you need to wire money because PayPal overpaid you hoax”). That bank is under no duty to reply to information requests from either the transmitting bank or the victim.

The “paper trail” ends at the wire in scams where the victim is persuaded to wire money away. The victim believes they are paying for anything or must pay for something via wire transfer.

Older scams that required victims to go to the bank to fill out paperwork became obsolete as banks became more sophisticated. Older customers were the most common victims, so most banks began to interrogate them: “Did you receive the products you paid for?” “Have you spoken to the individual requesting funds?” “Why do you need to withdraw that much money?” and so on. This forced many customers to pause and reflect, or their comments indicated probable fraud.

Scammers shifted to wire transfers and later online payments such as PayPal because they were easier to conceal.

Typically, numerous accounts are engaged in a transfer chain, and practically all of the owners of those accounts are either victims of fraud or mules who are just sending money around for a little percentage.

This happened to me several years back following the OPM incident. I was in the military when millions of federal employees, service personnel, and others’ (i.e., FAFSA applicants) personal information was taken, including mine and my wife’s.

After a few months, I was bringing my family out to supper on payday. That morning, I had lots of money in the bank. When my card was rejected, I went to my bank app to see what was going on. Someone was moving thousands of dollars from other accounts they had hacked into my account at a time, then going to ATMs on the opposite side of the nation and withdrawing it all in cash, $400 at a time. They’d switch to another ATM once they’d reached their limit. I managed to get around the bank’s daily limits.

I’m not sure whether they ever caught the individual doing this, but my bank was fantastic and had the money back in my account in a matter of days, as well as restored the over $15k that was channeled through my account to the proper owners. I was also fortunate to have a credit card that I could use to cover required bills and avoid forcing my children to do dishes at the restaurant where our card was denied.

Today, most banks are considerably better about it, thanks in part to the prevalence of cybercrime and the Consumer and Financial Protection Bureau, which was new at the time. Though it’s worth checking with your own bank to see what their policies are; some of the bigger banks may charge people to recover their money (looking at you, Bank of America!).

The most common fraud in corporate settings is the withdrawal of cash on hand to be placed into a crypto machine. It’s difficult to track money once it’s changed hands.

I think it’s also important to emphasize that scams happen all the time, therefore it’s frequently more about closing down the bigger scammers, which requires proving the links between a number of smaller petty scams.

This is also why bitcoin is associated with money laundering; it is quite simple for someone to purchase bitcoins, which can then be transferred between wallets before being exchanged for actual currency. Any service that converts funds has the potential to be utilized for money laundering.

This is amusing because the Bank of America fraud department seized the wire transfer I made to my real estate agent on Friday morning in order to obtain a new apartment in Manhattan, then went home for the weekend.

So, thanks for being careful with my money, but fuck you for sabotaging my real estate deal until Monday am when I can yell at you.

You are liable for any transaction in which you disclose your account details since I work in fraud.

How does the bank know you did not share the information with your co-conspirator? I mean, why should the account information be secured if you submitted it? People would quickly take advantage of such a system. As it is, a dispute is required to even consider it, and challenges frequently fail when the fraudster demonstrates they were smarter than the account holder.

If you did not disclose your information, you are committing fraud. Scamming is not fraud, and therefore is not covered by the bank’s $0 fraud liability.

Banking has become so rapid that by the time the victim considers what to do (who to call first), it is typically too late.

What would have occurred if I tried to cash a cashiers check from an employment scam? If you have any information on that, I’d be grateful. I couldn’t see how submitting a forged cheque might assist them con me.

My worry is that while going out to dinner, a beer or glass of wine is frequently included with the meal. How does one reconcile carrying such a situation?

Furthermore, the cash withdrawal might be anything that takes money out of the victim’s account before it reaches the fraudster. One typical technique is to get people to purchase complete gift cards. Some less skilled scammers will use normal wire transfers, but as the original remark above points out, professionals will specifically choose anything that prevents them from using direct transfers. Obtaining gift cards, having individuals ship physical cash to mules, receiving money in cryptocurrency, Western Union, and other similar methods. Faster is better for them since it allows them more time to get the money out of stolen accounts and shields them from any consequences.

This 419 scam is notoriously difficult to trace because the scammers tend to ask for payment in WU, money gram, or sometimes now even gift cards for popular online stores particularly steam cards because steam cards are easy to sell for cash value on auction sites 419 is notoriously hard to track once the money is gone and near impossible to prosecute or recoup the losses from

Side note: Excluding countries from the banking system is something only Americans would say, but America’s grip on the financial system is slipping, and its preferred weapon, sanctions, will no longer be effective.

Excellent response! Why can’t certain countries be excluded from the banking system? It’s because one popular approach is to have their victims use crypto, which makes it much more difficult to track them down.

So, if we could track each bill by serial number and send out updates canceling cash, we could avoid it all?

This is why most scammers attempt to obtain gift cards as payment. They are nearly tough to locate and recover.

My poor mother was almost taken in by one of these schemes approximately three years ago. In retrospect, given her intelligence, we should have foreseen her frontotemporal dementia.

HEB understands

There is a paper trail; the banks involved keep records of each and every transaction. However, if you have a victim and a victim’s bank in country A, an intermediate bank in country B, and a criminal with a criminal’s bank in country C, the victim will have a difficult time recovering their money because no court has jurisdiction over all of the banks involved. And banks never give out any banking information unless required by law.

I work in a huge bank’s anti-money laundering department, and this is the accurate response.

Banks are required by law to secure their clients’ information, and obtaining information between departments within the same bank, much alone information from a distinct financial institution, is a pain in the ass.

As indicated in other comments, many scammers do not withdraw money in cash because governments closely monitor currency transactions.

So, if there is a paper trail, why don’t they get caught?


Privacy restrictions, regulations governing jurisdiction across countries and financial institutions, and the speed with which fraudsters move money

If two departments within the same bank want to communicate confidential information about a client, but the departments are in different companies, the process of requesting and receiving the information could take anywhere from a week to six months. That is, if they are both members of the same bank. If they are not affiliated with the same bank and the offense is not tied to terrorist financing, it could take 6 to 12 months to obtain the information. HEB understands

What fraudsters do is open a “funnel” account in the name of a random person (could be a stolen identity or someone they paid off), then use this account for a short period of time, say one week or one month, to receive all deposits and transfers from fraudulent activity, and then perform a number of transactions to other accounts in other financial institutions, which are most likely incorporated in other countries, making the paper trail more difficult to follow.

After the fraudster has done this two or three times, the funds are safe enough to be transferred to a safer account, which is most likely located in a fiscal paradise, which is a country that does not share information with other countries and does not have an extradition treaty with the Western world.

The money in the final accounts is secure enough to be used to buy houses, pay credit cards, start businesses, and pretty much anything else.

Furthermore, the account might be opened using a shell organization, a corporation that only exists on paper, and even if they are discovered, the fraudster’s identify is never revealed to law enforcement.

The second point is, why don’t we prohibit countries with such risky legislation from trading with our banks?

Money, money, money is always the solution. Fiscal haven countries are used not just by criminals to hide assets, but also by wealthy individuals and major enterprises to avoid paying taxes. If banks are not permitted to accept funds from these regions, very large firms will lose access to the financial market, and affluent individuals will lose access to their hidden assets.

If you do some research, you will discover that very huge organizations such as Coca-Cola, Electronic Arts, Amazon, and others have parts of their operations set up there to avoid taxes and maintain some legal protection from financial troubles. Also read in the Panama papers about how fiscal paradise geography enabled wealthy people and corporations hide large sums of money.

In my opinion, a computer hacker is one of the greatest programmers with a higher IQ than a developer, while a bank scammer is one of the best bankers with complete understanding of the banking system, most likely a former banker or money changer.

This is incorrect. It’s unfortunate that 90% of these comments have no idea how money transfers work.

I mean, the victim will get their money back, and the bank will just cover the costs, but the fraudsters will never be arrested since Interpol is ineffective, and very few governments have the guts to send in their own personnel to catch criminals.

So scammers just hide in nations with lax extradition rules and unscrupulous police, hoping that no one will pursue them.

Here’s the real issue, and I’m talking about you, Bank of America. (I’m a cybercrime investigator who specializes in wire fraud cases.) There should be no way in 2022 in America, especially with the Patriot Act, for someone to open a Bank of America account one day with little or no accurate ID, have millions of dollars wired into the account the next day, and have the money immediately wired back out overseas with no flags, cooling off period, or verifications. It irritates me to no end because 90% of the time when I investigate a wire fraud case, the criminal actors use Bank of America at some stage in the process. On another note, we do trace the money, but sometimes we can’t do anything about it. I had a case where the scammers had the money in an account and used mules all over New York City going to each ATM machine and withdrawing the daily limit from one machine to the next; we had pictures of the people, but there was nothing we could do.

For a large bank, I do wire fraud investigations. Unfortunately, your love sick seniors are the ones who are often setting “legitimate” accounts with their details but falling for scams to shift money around from their “lovers.”

It’s not simply Stank of America and the transactions you mentioned.

In principle, any variation from normal should be automatically held up. Bob always had $1k in his savings and then has a transaction for $20,000 come in? It should be frozen. He never used Venmo before, but now it’s set up and there’s a transaction? Hold that until verification. Impossible travel, such as a card transaction in New York followed by a withdrawal from hundreds or thousands of kilometers away? Yes, keep that in mind.

Millions cannot be wired into the account the next day. What are you on about? Under the law, anything over $50,000 triggers an automatic manual review. Such huge transactions into newly formed accounts are not permitted by Bank of America. Even large cheques cannot be deposited until you produce complete identification in person at a bank. They also have a million fraud algorithms to detect those things, since I’ve had my account repeatedly locked for legal deposits of large cheques over the years. I also work in compliance and am well-versed in the regulations. Nobody in online banking history has ever wired millions into a new account and then wired it back overseas. That has never occurred. There was never a time when any big bank would have permitted this. In truth, huge lines are frequently exposed to government surveillance in real time. If Bank of America had been a haven for wire fraud, they would have been penalized billions upon billions of dollars by now.

HEB understands

The money is transferred from the victim’s account to another bank, then another, and another, and another so quickly that by the time a bank can notify the next bank to freeze the funds, the monies have already been transferred to the next one. So it’s a cat and mouse game. Every iteration lengthens the lag until there is enough time to utilize the money in a way that the bank cannot restore, such as a cash withdrawal or the purchase of an untraceable asset.

So the issue isn’t so much traceability as it is reaction time. To avoid fraud and money laundering, banks maintain extensive command centers where real-time surveillance takes place. However, the majority of these attacks use automated computer software to shift money around swiftly. Also, it is very uncommon for a cyber attack to follow the transfer of stolen assets in order to impair the bank’s system so that other banks are not soon informed.

Nonetheless, most stolen assets may be frozen in time and restored to their rightful owners, at least here in Europe.

In addition to money mules, corrupt enterprises might be exploited.

Faster Payments bank payments clear almost instantly in the UK, and can be up to £15k [*]. A company can accept a Faster Payment and confidently release products worth that amount. There is no chargeback procedure, like there is with credit/debit cards.

The firm may be aware that they are facilitating fraud and may not have genuinely distributed any items. In the long run, such a firm will be uncovered, and paper trails of subsequent transactions will exist. However, this buys criminals time because the money is less “hot” than if it came directly from a compromised account.

Money mules, by the way, may not have committed a crime. There is no law prohibiting you from receiving money in your account and withdrawing it as cash. And the obligation to report suspicions of money laundering only applies to regulated organizations (banks, law firms, etc.), not to some poor soul doing it for £50.

All of this information is specific to the United Kingdom but is generally applicable elsewhere. While I still work in information security, I haven’t done much financial work in recent years. HEB understands

[*] Someone pointed out that the restriction has been raised. Despite this, most banks set a restriction lower than the system limit, for example, Halifax limits online transactions to £25k. They do allow £250,000 in person, which may occur in some scams.




$3500.                                   $300

$7000.                                    $500

$10,000.                                  $750

$20,000.                                  $1500

$35,000                                  $2500

$100,000.                                 $5000


HEB understands

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