Archive for February, 2008

Western Union Money Transfers, Possibility Of Frauds

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

The rapid development of ecommerce has resulted in the development of various payment options for buyers. Western Union Money Transfers have been around for a long time, long before the Internet and ecommerce became household terms. The early uses of Western Union transactions were friends and family members, the important thing was that the receiver and the sender knew each other. The sender would visit a Western Union agent, pay cash or use a credit card and make the transfer to the receiver. The sender would communicate the money transfer transaction number (received from the Western Union agent) to the intended receiver of the payment. The receiver could visit a local Western Union agent in his locality and country, prove his identity and fill details that would include the money transfer transactrion number. The Western Union agent would check these identification details and pay out the money to the intended receiver. The important thing about such transactions was that the payer and the receiver knew each other. The responsibility of Western Union ended once the identity of the receiver was checked and the money was paid out.

As time went by, Western Union developed simpler processes to do money transfers. Western Union in some countries now allows the sender to phone in, provide credit card details and confirm a money transfer. You can also access the Western Union website and check for countries from where money can be transferred online. The sender in such cases would not need to present himself at a Western Union agent. The receiver would ofcourse need to follow the same procedure of identifying himself at a local Western Union agent and collect the funds.We now come to the possible dangers of using Western Union Money Transfers to pay for online transactions. In this case, the possibility of the buyer not having any previous buying experience with the seller is high. This is a situation that is different from the traditional money transfers earlier done through Western Union. Traditionally, the sender and receiver were known to each other, frauds between these two parties were unlikely. The role and responsibility of Western Union earlier and even now, ends when the money is paid out to the identified receiver. The receiver (seller) is then expected to fulfill his part of the transaction by shipping the merchandise or providing the agreed service to the sender (buyer). The scope for a fraud exists here, a fraudulent seller could back out of his part of the transaction after receiving the payment. The buyer could do little as Western Union would close the transaction the moment the pay out was made to the seller (receiver) of the payment. Western Union itself does it’s bit by advising senders not to transfer money to unknown people. This is a sad situation as Western Union Money Transfers are the only payment mode available in certain countries and regions. Besides this, not many sellers would indulge in such frauds. At the same time, the fears and worries of the sender (buyer) need to be addressed too. Most reputed online sellers including Kaisilver, offer Western Union Money Transfers as a mode of payment but, do not recommend it for first time buyers. It would give a buyer more peace of mind if he knew the reputation of the seller, repeat transactions could therefore be paid through Western Union Money Transfers.As a buyer, you should discuss other payment modes like Paypal or direct bank transfers with your seller. If you decide to use Western Union Money Transfers for online payments, check the website of the seller and make sure that it looks trustworthy. Then visit popular search engines like Yahoo and Google and search for the seller’s website name. Check for negative feedback or comments in blogs or forums. Some negative comments could be baseless, read and understand the content and context before making a decision.

Few sellers are willing to clearly explain the issues involved in online payments to buyers. They fear that buyers would be put off and prefer not to go ahead with the transaction. However, at Kaisilver we believe that a well informed buyer can be protected against threats and frauds. This security blog is maintained by us to educate buyers and not to push our jewelry sales. If you have found this information to be interesting or useful, please pass the link of this blog to your friends and collegues, a safer Internet will be great for all of us. You can find more information related to online security and threats at this link: http://www.newsletter.kaijewels.com/safe-online-payment.htm