MoneyGram: When the Kids Are Away, the Scammers Come Out to Play
“Spring break can be a letting-go experience for parents of college
Garner offers the following advice to parents of college students to safeguard their physical and financial health during spring break:
- Check in before heading out: American students traveling internationally can register with the U.S. State Department’s free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which will help with communications in the event of an emergency. Canadian students can register with their country’s similar program, Registration of Canadians Abroad.
- Take a lesson from E.T.: Phone home: Parents should make a deal with their students traveling for spring break – a little freedom for a few phone calls and some extra phone numbers. Parents should establish specific times for phone calls to check in, so they will know where their students are and what they’re up to, and get cell phone numbers for the friends of their traveling children as a back-up means of communication.
Just say no: With personal belongings left scattered on beach
towels, scammers often will use student IDs to find parents and ask
for money to be wired in the aid of their child who can’t come to the
phone. Garner of
MoneyGramadvises parents to say no – and never wire money to anyone they don’t know – instead checking in by calling the child’s cell phone or the local authorities where their child is vacationing.
- Give them credit: Parents can temporarily add a child as an approved user to a credit card, and place a pre-set spending limit on the card as a way to prompt financial responsibility while the student is traveling.
Put a policy in place: To guard against a financial loss,
parents should check with their insurance company to make sure their
child’s possessions are insured on their homeowner’s policy while the
student is traveling, especially if the child will be traveling
the United States.
“The best way to ensure a safe spring break and avoid a scam is to talk
to your child in advance about these types of precautions, and schedule
regular contact so you can hear directly from them that they’re safe,”
said Garner of
As part of MoneyGram’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers from wire
transfer fraud, the company recently launched an enhanced version of its
fraud prevention website – www.moneygram-preventfraud.com.
- Know – Always know the person to whom you are sending money. Never send money to strangers.
- Show – Never show or share information about your money transfer to anyone but the recipient.
- Throw – Discard or throw away any offers that promise easy ways to earn money, especially if the offers require you to send money before earning money.
Consumers who suspect fraud associated with money transfers should
contact their local law enforcement. Consumers should call 1-800-
for MoneyGram International
Christy French, 214-379-3703