Don't Wire Money to Someone You Don't Know

Wiring money to a stranger is never a good idea
Wiring money to a stranger is never a good idea

The recent fleecing of a Consumer Ally reader by a bogus online lender underscores a basic rule of the road when trying to avoid getting scammed: Never, ever wire money to someone you don't know.

The victim, whom we'll call Miranda due to her wish to remain anonymous, learned that painful lesson when she fell for an advance-fee loan scam, an old and effective con that tricks victims into paying an upfront premium for a loan that never materializes. The Federal Trade Commission recently banned debt-relief telemarketers from charging advance fees for loans.