How do you avoid fraud with advance fees

Don't Pay by Wire Transfer: 5 Safe Alternative Payment Methods

Bank transfers are one of the most common ways to send money online. However, you should be careful as there are many risks associated with paying this way.

Fortunately, the financial services industry has been revolutionized in recent years. Hence, you no longer have to rely on using your bank to transfer money to others.

Why shouldn't you pay by bank transfer? And what are these alternatives?

The risks of paying by bank transfer

Bank transfers are a common way for scammers to get a grip on your money. A fraudster can try to “sell” you a specific product, such as: B. Tickets for a darts tournament or a music concert.

On eBay, a scammer may be trying to sell you something that is not covered by the money-back guarantee. This includes vehicles, real estate and services. Once you pay for it, you will likely have a hard time getting your money back.

Related: Common eBay Scams To Be Aware Of

Another risk with bank transfers is that payments can sometimes get misdirected. If this is a manual mistake on your part, chances are you will soon stop seeing the money.

Bank transfer alternatives

Right now you should be wondering what other ways to pay for the transfer. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives.

Here are some of the most popular and secure payment methods for you to consider.

1. PayPal

With well over 300 million users, PayPal is the world's most popular digital wallet service. Another reason it is used so widely is for security.

Not only can they be accepted in a variety of online stores, but they can also use PayPal to make purchases on eBay.

Related Topics: An Introduction to PayPal Accounts and Services

To pay with PayPal, all you have to do is enter the email address assigned to your account. You can add funds directly from your bank and withdraw them the same way.

PayPal benefits include:

  • Fast online transfers.
  • The ability to send and receive money in a wide variety of currencies.
  • Easy to set up an account.

However, there are some drawbacks that you should consider before using PayPal. These include:

  • Big exchange fees.
  • You are still not fully protected from the risk of scammers.

2. Cash

When buying something from someone locally, cash payments are a great alternative to bank transfers. Using physical money eliminates the risk of being scammed online and gives the other person no place to hide.

Put simply, a scammer is unlikely to want to hit you to collect your money in real life.

The benefits of using cash to pay for items on eBay include:

  • Make sure you are paying the correct amount.
  • You don't need to have a bank account at all.
  • No hidden fees.

The use of cash can be seen as a bit out of date so there are of course some drawbacks to consider. These are:

  • If you don't have money on hand, you'll need to withdraw it from an ATM.
  • Cash payment is only an option for local sales.
  • The seller may not be willing to accept cash payments.

3. Western Union

When sending money internationally, Western Union is a convenient alternative to cash payments. The payment method has long been used by people living abroad to send money back to their families in their home country.

To use Western Union, you have to go to a kiosk and pay a fee - and give them the money.

This payment method has several advantages over bank transfers, including:

  • Widespread availability.
  • In general, Western Union is reliable.
  • The recipient does not need a bank account.

While Western Union has been around for a decade and a half, there are numerous cons to think about. The most notable are:

  • Sending money with Western Union is expensive, and exchange rates are often low.
  • Again, scammers are still using Western Union to steal other people's money.

4. Digital banks

Since the mid-2010s, digital banks have challenged traditional institutions.

They are easy to identify. When you join these services, you will most likely get a colorful credit card too.

The benefits of using digital banks to send money include:

  • Helpful customer service teams.
  • Fast online transfers.
  • Fair exchange rates and fewer fees for international transactions.

However, there are some drawbacks associated with using this service:

  • While digital banks are safe, they can be exposed to phishing and other security breaches.
  • A limited range of services compared to traditional banks.

Related: Types of Phishing Attacks You Should Know About

5. Say no

If you feel like you have been scammed online, there is always an alternative to the above: say no.

You don't have to give your money to anyone if you feel insecure, and you shouldn't feel compelled to either.

Are there any downsides to saying no? Well one. May be.

You may not receive your article if you say no - if one existed at all.

Signs that you are being scammed online

Regardless of how you pay online, you might find yourself in a situation where someone is trying to scam you. Hence, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with standard practices so that you can prevent this from happening.

Here are some of the main signs that someone is trying to steal your money online.

The offer seems too good to be true

Does someone offer you a paid $ 10 Caribbean cruise? Bad news - either your transport method is questionable or the package doesn't exist.

The phrase “too good to be true” exists for a reason. In most cases, items that sell well below the retail price will either not be shipped to you or will be returned to you in a badly damaged condition. Alternatively, they can be fake.

Someone is trying to get you to pay outside of the marketplace or website

Annoying as they are, scammers often know what they're doing. When paying for an item on eBay, you may be asked to complete your transaction off-platform.

If you commit, there's not much eBay can do if the person who “sold” you an item disappears.

Request an advance fee

Another common online scam is asking for an upfront fee. This is often small so you may be unprepared. A scammer will ask you to send this fee in exchange for a bigger promise.

Once you've sent the money, they'll conveniently drop it off the radar.

Protect yourself and your money

Online fraud is an unfortunate reality, but you don't have to be a victim of it. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to avoid bank transfers whenever possible and opt for more secure payment methods.

Even so, all online payments pose at least a low level of risk. It is advisable to familiarize yourself with common online scams. Once you do this, you can protect yourself in case someone tries to trick you.