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Need Advice How Safe are Wire Transfers

Discussion in 'General Chat Forum' started by JLC, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. JLC

    JLC Member

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    My husband and I have sold a vehicle to someone who lives in another state. We still have a lien on it and he's going to wire money to the bank holding the loan and pay it off. They'll then release the title to us. Our asking price was more than the loan amount, so he wants to wire the difference into our personal account.

    I know there are cashier's check scams out there but I'm wondering how safe is a wire transfer? How long do we need to wait to make sure the money is really there before we allow him to drive off?

    His bank is USAA and ours is Wachovia.
     
  2. Capricorn1964

    Capricorn1964 Well-Known Member

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    USAA is very reliable and connected with military members and their dependents. I doubt that you'll have any snags/problems. I would hold off on driving off UNTIL the money hits the account to avoid problems. Make sure the title is no longer in your name at the time he takes over the car so that you aren't made liable for any accidents that may occur...
     
  3. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    JLC, wire transfers are very safe. If there is no money in their account then there is no wire, period. The sender wire fees range anywhere from $15 - $45 depending on the institutions and usually the recipient also pays to receive the funds. Check with you bank to ensure they do not deduct the fee out of the payment towards the car.

    A cheaper way to transfer funds is ACH but it's not practical really for a one time payment.
     
  4. lilpea

    lilpea Member

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    USAA - is extremely reliable financial institution with a pristine reputation.

    www.usaa.com
     
  5. Steve Campot

    Steve Campot Broadlands Real Estate Broker

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    Hold On! Do not give your account number to anyone you do not know very well! This is a classic scam. Out of country scammers do this all the time and they can sound very convincing! The only goal is to get your account number and clean it out.

    A safer way is to have them wire all the money to the car loan account. When it is paid off your bank will refund you the over payment. Then give them the car with a good bill of sale signed by all parties. Verify the loan is paid off(verify that their is no way for the buyer to undo the deposit) verify their ID.

    Really!
     
  6. fidothedog

    fidothedog Member

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    I agree with Steve. I would never give out my bank account number.
     
  7. Capricorn1964

    Capricorn1964 Well-Known Member

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    Steve-- The original poster said "...wire the money to the bank holding the loan"....so I assume that the bank knows what to do with the money. I doubt that the poster gave the account number to the person but rather gave the instructions where to wire the funds to. Maybe Im wrong but that's what it appears like to me....
     
  8. JLC

    JLC Member

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    My bank account number is on every paper check I write.
     
  9. JLC

    JLC Member

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    90% of the money is going to the bank holding the loan. The other 10% would come to our bank account. They need our bank account number & routing number which is available on any check I write to anyone - from Girl Scout cookies to the grocery store to the guy who cleaned my deck. I'm not sure how that's information I need to keep hidden?
     
  10. gunzour

    gunzour "Living on the Edge"

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    You should protect your bank account number the same way you protect your credit card number. A fraudster can use that number to withdraw funds from your account.

    I think Steve's advice is good -- have them wire the full payment to pay the loan. The loan company will cut you a check for the excess over the payoff amount for the loan. And there is no way I can think of to use the loan account number to withdraw funds.
     
  11. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    That's what she's doing. The bank that holds the lien should have a specific account for it.
     
  12. JLC

    JLC Member

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    Well, now I'm wishing that's what I did. Most of it is going to that bank but some of it is coming to mine.

    I'll be very sad if the little old couple we met turn out to be con artists.
     
  13. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    JLC, call your bank manager and let him know your concerns so that they can put a alert on your account. Banks do this all the time.

    For anyone thinking of selling something to an unknown party, it's not uncommon to ask for a driver's license number to validate who they say they are and, you can also research their background. This is why stores can no longer record your DL# on checks.

    As an earlier poster said, any overage to pay off the car would be refunded to you.
     
  14. fidothedog

    fidothedog Member

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    I don't give my checks out to anyone unless I have to. Too easy for someone to commit a fraud with the bank number.
     
  15. Steve Campot

    Steve Campot Broadlands Real Estate Broker

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    From a quick google search on scammers "The National Consumers League reports that fake check scams now rank as one of the top most common Internet fraud scams. Fake check scams are clever ploys designed to steal your money. You can avoid becoming a victim by recognizing how the scam works and understanding your responsibility for the checks that you deposit in your account. If someone you don’t know wants to pay you by check but wants you to wire some of the money back, beware! It’s a scam that could cost you thousands of dollars.

    How do fake check scams work?

    There are many variations of these scams, but they usually start with someone offering to:
    • Buy something you advertised for sale via newspaper ads or the internet.
    • Pay you to work at home.
    • Give you an “advance” on a sweepstakes you’ve won.
    • Give you the first payment on the millions you’ll receive for agreeing to transfer money in a foreign country to your bank account for safekeeping.
    How do these scammers find their victims?
    • They scan newspaper and online advertisements for people listing items for sale and check postings on online job sites from people seeking employment.
    • They place their own online ads with phone numbers or email addresses for people to contact them.
    • Often times they call or send emails or faxes to people randomly, knowing that some will take the bait.
    • Scammers often claim to be in other countries and say it’s too difficult to pay you directly, so they’ll have someone in the U.S. who owes them money send you a check or money order.
    How do scammers get my money?
    • The amount of the check or money order you receive may be more than you’re owed, so you’re instructed to deposit it and wire the rest to the scammer or to someone else.
    • Or you’re told to wire some of the money back to pay a fee to claim your “winnings.”
    • In some cases, the scammer promises to transfer money directly to your bank account, so you provide your account information for an electronic funds transfer. Instead, the crook sends your bank a phony check or money order with instructions to deposit it in your account.
    • When you check your balance, it looks like the funds have arrived.
    BEWARE - Whatever the setup, the result is the same – after you’ve wired the money, you find out that the check or money order was fraudulent.

    Can my bank tell if the check or money order is good or not when I deposit it?
    • These fakes look so real it’s difficult to distinguish them from the real thing.
    • Some are counterfeit money orders.
    • Some are phony cashier’s checks.
    • Often times these checks look like they’re from legitimate business accounts. The companies whose names appear may be real, but someone has altered the checks without their knowledge.
    Note"
     
  16. Steve Campot

    Steve Campot Broadlands Real Estate Broker

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    Oh I did not relize it was an old couple, you'll be fine. LOL
     
  17. Villager

    Villager Ashburn Village Resident

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    I'm sure it will be fine.
     
  18. fidothedog

    fidothedog Member

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    Also on checks, with today's technology anyone with your signed check, scanner and good printer can just start printing checks. They can change the check number, payee and amounts with a scanned image and then print new checks.

    You should be covered by such a scam by your bank but it is a hassle.

    Many of my clients (Corporations) have had this happen to them.

    Also, where is the best place to get signed checks? You tell the crooks every time you put your signed check in your mailbox and put up the flag.
     
  19. JLC

    JLC Member

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    Thanks! We've got copies of the guy's driver's license and military ID. The balance on the vehicle loan now shows zero and the rest has been wired into our bank account. We called our bank and explained what was going on so they can keep an eye on our account.

    We're still waiting for the bank holding the loan to release the title to us which they will do after the funds are cleared - should be by Tuesday.
     
  20. JLC

    JLC Member

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    I guess this is the one that would apply to me but my online access specifically notes the deposit as a wire transfer.
     

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