Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Be cautious when using Western Union

A lot of contractors promising services online might offer services if you pay them via Western Union. Some of these people are reputable, but many of them are simply scam artists who want to defraud you of your money.

The problem with Western Union is that although it requires identification documents from people picking up money being sent to them, the common fraudster usually just gets a counterfeit ID and the information on it cannot be used to track them by the time it is discovered they are not really going to provide the good or service they promised in exchange for the payment.

Additionally, the stolen money cannot be "charged back" like if you use a credit card, nor is it insured to a certain limit like if you use PayPal. Once the money is lost, the fraud victim has the personal responsibility to find and sue the fraudster if they wish to recover their money.

Therefore, unless you know the person who you are sending the money to well--for example, they are a friend or relative--it is best to refrain from using Western Union or any other payment service from which you cannot recover money if it turns out that it was obtained by fraud.

Those are the main reasons to be cautious about using Western Union. If you happen to want to read some humor in which scammers attempting to defraud via Western Union or other irreversible payment methods are messed with, I recommend visiting

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