Here is an example of the scams the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleges were perpetrated by con artists using MoneyGram International's wire transfer network:

Lotteries and Sweepstakes Scam: The letter says you just won a lottery, and a cashier's check is included. All you have to do is cash it and wire money to pay for taxes and fees. Except the check is no good, so you're responsible for repaying the money.

More examples on page A6.


Guaranteed Loan Scam: An ad or website promises to "guarantee" a personal loan or credit card regardless of your credit history. When you apply, you are told to pay a fee in advance. You wire the money, but the card or loan never materializes.

Secret Shopper Scam: You are hired to be a "secret," or "mystery" shopper and asked to evaluate the customer service of a money transfer company. You're sent a check to deposit in your bank account. Then, you're told to withdraw the amount in cash and wire the money. The check bounces and you are responsible for the money withdrawn.