For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: July 2, 2008
MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc., Settles with Wasden
(Boise) - MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc., entered into a settlement agreement with Idaho responding to concerns about scam artists’ use of the company’s wire transfer services, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced today. MoneyGram will also fund a $1.1 million national consumer awareness program and include prominent warnings on the forms that consumers complete to wire money.
“My office continues to receive reports from consumers who mistakenly wire money to fraudulent telemarketers, Internet retailers and other fraudsters,” Attorney General Wasden said. “I commend MoneyGram for taking the necessary steps to help prevent criminals from using traditional money transfer methods to scam consumers.”
An increasingly common scam involves advanced fee loans. This occurs when a loan broker, who usually is located outside the United States, requires a borrower to pay an insurance fee in order to receive a loan. The victim is directed to wire the fee because wire transfers are quick and funds can be picked up in multiple locations.
“The consumer, who often is desperate to obtain the loan, pays the broker $7,500 for a $20,000 loan,” Attorney General Wasden explained. “Not only does the consumer not get the loan, he or she is also out $7,500.”
Additional terms of the settlement agreement with MoneyGram include:
“It is imperative that consumers exercise caution when they send money orders,” Attorney General Wasden said. “Never wire money to an unknown person no matter how trustworthy you think he or she is.”
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