Wire Transfer Fraud Protection: MN HF 343 - What You Need to Know

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If you are not a resident of Minnesota, then you may not be aware of MN HF 0343, a bill introduced in February 2011.  In its simplest description, this bill helps protect Minnesotans against scam and fraud, by forcing accountability onto money transmitters, like Western Union or Money Gram.   In today's world, we all know that accountability means different things to different people. Specifically, HF 0343 would require money transmittal businesses to be responsible for:

•    requiring a valid ID for receivers to be able to pick up money transfers;
•    ensuring that money is picked up in the location specified on the wire transfer form;
•    training consumers on scams and fraud;
•    stopping the wire transfer and alerting the sender if there is an attempt to pick up money in any other location, except the location specified on the transfer form; or, if someone besides the designated receiver tries to pick up money; and
•    shutting down locations and agents that do not follow the rules.

In essence, MN HF 343 seeks to prevent money transmittal businesses from ignoring the evidence of fraud and scams.  Instead, it would turn these businesses into a line of defense against fraud and watchdogs for consumers.  Worried about the rules falling through the cracks of customer service? Don't be.  This bill would actually require money transfer businesses to raise their hiring standards.  "So many people do not understand the loopholes that scammers use to their advantage, such as the fact that if they have the wire transfer information and the secret code, they can pick up the wire transfer anywhere in the world;" Shawn Mosch, co-founder of ScamVictmsUnited, a key supporter of this bill pointed out. 

It is this lack of understanding that leads to consumers being scammed. 

Proponents of the bill praise the requirements of the legislation, as well as, the enforcing agency. Since, it places the power to enforce this legislation with the agency that has a successful history of fighting fraud in the state aggressively.  MN HF 0343 will not eliminate scams from the State of Minnesota. And, Minnesotans should not let down their guard.  At the end of the day, a consumer's first line of defense against fraud, is education.  Having the knowledge of the various types of scams and how to avoid them will give consumers their most effective tool to prevent scams. 

Shawn, my friend, and  former scam victim -turned advocate, will tell anyone on the fence about MN HF 0343 that, "If this Bill were law back in 2002 and worked as it is intended to, I would not be... a former scam victim." 

While MN HF 0343 will help protect the residents of Minnesota, consumer advocates are working to gain support for this bill in every state.  Strong consumer support will influence other states to adopt similar legislation.  

Visit ScamVictimsUnited to find much more information relating to this bill an how to support it.

Please sign our petition in support of creating national scam education awareness programs.

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