The Merrimack Fraud Team has noticed an increase in wire scams targeting local residents and consumers nationwide. These schemes often involve fraudsters who use scare tactics to create a sense of fear and urgency.
Common wire scam scenarios include, a call or notification that:
- A friend or relative has been in an accident or is in trouble and needs money urgently.
- You’re being investigated by a government agency for benefits or unpaid taxes.
- A government agency is claiming your bank account has been comprised and you should wire the money to them to keep it safe.
- You have won a prize and need to pay fees or taxes before collecting your winnings.
- You’ve been hired for a job that requires you send money to a client or supplier in advance of being paid.
- Your application has been accepted for an apartment advertised online, but you must wire deposit funds in advance – even before you’ve seen the apartment in person.
Bank employees and local law enforcement are trained to help customers avoid these types of scams. Knowing this, fraudsters have started coaching their victim to make up a story if the transaction is questioned by bank employees.
If you get a call from someone asking you to wire funds, it’s likely a scam and you should hang up. To learn more about wire scams and steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for consumer advice.
If you’re a Merrimack customer and you are concerned you wired money in response to a scam or someone is asking you to wire money for any reason, please call us directly at 603.225.2793.