Whether you’ve sent a wire transfer in the past or are sending one for the first time, there are a few security steps you should take to protect your money. In doing so, you can feel confident that your funds are going to the right person and for the intended purpose.
What is a wire transfer?
A wire transfer allows two people to transfer funds electronically between their respective financial institutions. They don’t have to be in the same geographical location to accomplish this, making it a convenient, easy, and fast way to send money.
While each bank and credit union may have different steps required to send a wire transfer, all of them will require the account number of the intended recipient as well as the routing number to their bank or credit union. The routing number is a code used to identify a financial institution.
You can send both domestic wire transfers and international wire transfers. But keep in mind that certain factors, like time zone differences and currency conversions, may increase the number of business days it takes for international requests to be processed.
Are wire transfers safe?
Yes, wire transfers can be a safe and convenient way to transfer funds. But there’s a reason your financial institution may advise caution when using them to do so. That’s because the funds aren’t retrievable once they’re sent. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re not taken advantage of, and that your money reaches its destination safely.
3 security tips for wire transfers
Think critically about your recipient’s intentions
Only send a wire transfer to individuals you know and trust. If someone you just met asks you to wire them money for a charitable donation, investment opportunity, or an online purchase do not do it. A reputable charity or company will never require this payment method.
- Did you know you can search an organization's name through the Ohio Attorney General’s website?
Check and double check details
But what if you know your recipient is trustworthy and you need to send them money? Is there anything else to be concerned about? Yes, but the situation is perfectly avoidable. Your recipient may not get the funds if the details in your request are off by even one number. If this happens, your bank or credit union can’t reverse the transfer because the funds are considered property of the recipient, even if they’re not the correct one. Always double check the account and routing numbers are correct before submitting your request to avoid this issue.
Protect your personal information
Bad actors may not need to ask for a wire transfer if they get their hands on your personal information. They may accomplish this through social engineering, like a sweetheart scam, or by accessing your devices through phishing. Phishing is a scam in which a scammer sends a text, email, or message containing a link or document. When you click the link or open the document, your device is exposed to a virus or malware. As a result, the criminal has access to your device and the information on it—including your personal and banking information. Never click on a link or open a document from an unknown recipient. Also, familiarize yourself with the red flags of a scam to make them more easily identifiable.
Don’t write off wire transfers, as there are some perfectly legitimate reasons why you may need to use them to send money. Just ensure you’re taking the steps above to protect your wallet and guarantee a good experience. General Electric Credit Union members can send both domestic and international wire transfers for a small fee. The details required for incoming and outgoing transfers differ, so visit us online to learn what information you need to compile ahead of time.