Former NYPD Detective Harry Houck to Serve as MoneyGram Anti-Fraud Spokesperson
Fraud prevention expert will increase awareness and arm consumers with information to protect them from scams
DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- MoneyGram (NYS: MGI) , a leading global money transfer company, today announced it has retained noted former New York City Police Department Detective Harry Houck as a spokesperson for the company's ongoing anti-fraud efforts. In this role, Houck will work with MoneyGram and its anti-fraud consumer awareness programs to alert consumers about common scams and how to protect them from being victimized by fraudsters.
"At MoneyGram, we have zero tolerance for people who use money transfer services for illegal activities and deliberately defraud and harm consumers," said Pamela H. Patsley, MoneyGram chairman and chief executive officer. "We've taken numerous steps to enhance our global anti-fraud programs, including investing in our consumer anti-fraud education program. Harry's experience in law enforcement reinforces MoneyGram's leadership position in fighting fraud and will be a tremendous asset to us as we help educate consumers in ways to protect themselves from becoming victims of scams."
During his more than 20 years with the NYPD, Houck - a former Marine Sergeant and Vietnam veteran - tested and implemented anti-fraud and investigative strategies and techniques with merchants, which resulted in hundreds of arrests and significantly reduced credit card fraud. Houck was recognized as one of the country's leading experts and authorities on high-tech crimes upon his retirement as a Detective 1st Grade in 2002. Recently, Houck developed an innovative investigative process for a major financial network that identifies patterns of customer behavior, which significantly reduced identify theft and prevented consumer loss.
"Once a consumer gives their money to criminals, there is no way to get it back," said Houck, who often presents his identify theft investigation techniques at law enforcement agencies nationwide, including the internationally renowned NYPD criminal investigation course. "MoneyGram is committed to educating consumers about fraud and scams so that they do not become victims. The best way to stop fraudsters is to educate consumers on how scammers operate and what to be on the lookout for."
MoneyGram's anti-fraud campaign cautions consumers to be vigilant against scams, as fraudsters regularly attempt to deceive consumers into sending money via wire transfer or money order. As part of the company's ongoing efforts to protect consumers from fraud, MoneyGram recently launched an enhanced version of its fraud prevention website - moneygram-preventfraud.com. MoneyGram recommends that before initiating a money transfer, consumers should:
Know - Always know the person to whom you are sending money. Never send money to strangers.
Show - Never show or share information about your money transfer to anyone but the recipient.
Throw - Discard or throw away any offers that promise easy ways to earn money, especially if the offers require you to send money before earning money.
Consumers who suspect fraud associated with money transfers should contact their local law enforcement. Consumers should call 1-800-MONEYGRAM (800-666-3947) if they believe MoneyGram was used to wire money as a result of a scam.
About MoneyGram International
MoneyGram International, a leading money transfer company, enables consumers who are not fully served by traditional financial institutions to meet their financial needs. MoneyGram offers bill payment services in the United States and Canada and money transfer services worldwide through a global network of more than 293,000 agent locations -- including retailers, international post offices and financial institutions -- in 197 countries and territories. To learn more about money transfer or bill payment at an agent location or online, please visit moneygram.com or connect with us on Facebook.
Mike Gutierrez/Patty Sullivan, 214-303-9923
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