LETTERS: Limit e-transfer transactions to people you know

Editor:

Recently, while involved in an online conversation, I was told a story of great woe in that the other party had maxed out their credit cards and hand no way of returning from another country and could I help them out and send them funds through a “money gram.”

I suspected something was amiss. I went to the post office and the good fellow behind the counter advised me that he had heard the exact same story 100 times and that it was most likely a scam. I agreed, did not send the money and broke off the engagement with the other person immediately.

However, I wasn’t so lucky in a different business transaction.

Most of us think that “e-transfers” through our banks are perfectly safe because they have a security question attached to them.

My understanding was that because they had this security question and answer (both are part of the e-transfer) that the intended receiver could not automatically deposit the funds, but the only way that they could obtain the money was when they met you in person and you gave them the security question answer.

This is not so. The money was sent and was directly deposited to the other person’s account. The security question and answer did nothing to stop them and I was bilked out of my money.

Of course, after that I never saw the other person I wanted to conduct business with. They were long gone.

I complained about this but my bank was of no help at all.

If you do not know someone, never trust e-transfer.

I asked my bank manager for an explanation about the security question and answer and just what its function was but his response was vague. If anyone in banking could respond to my letter and explain clearly how e-transfers and the security questions work, I would be very appreciative. I am totally at a loss.

Perhaps I am a fool, but in sharing my experience I hope that I will have helped people who are unaware.

Paul Dukes, White Rock

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