Email money transfers are amazing and super convenient. People don’t even need cheques anymore and you can just accept the money and not even worry about the money bouncing back. Email transfers are so handy and convenient that when was the last time you actually read the message that came with an e-transfer?
If you’re anything like me, and most of my clients, you see an email in the amount you were expecting from the person who is supposed to pay you and you automatically log into your online / mobile app and put in the password to accept the money. Easy, peasy with no time wasted.
But did you actually read the electronic message that came with the email transfer? In Canada through many financial institutions now you are able to request money via email transfers and not just send money. How could this be costing you money?
I had a client come in the other day who was selling stuff at the farmer’s market, someone wanted to purchase something but they didn’t have cash so they asked if they could email the money. “Of course, my email address is...” and they decided on a password that would be used. When the email came in our client immediately signed in, accepted and typed in the password. No sooner did she “accept” the e-transfer than the agreed upon amount came OUT of her account. Wait! What? How does that happen? Well it turns out the person buying the items had figured out how to send a REQUEST for funds instead of just sending funds.
The good news, email transfers are still very safe. You aren’t giving out your account information and the money is verifiable. Once accepted it cannot be returned. And it still is safe, as long as you don’t skim through the email or text message as many of us are getting them as now. Ensure it says (Suzy) “sent you funds” vs (Suzy) “sent you a request for funds”.
As much as I hate to say my spouse was right, for constantly giving me grief for skimming, he may be onto something. I hope this will help some of you avoid losing money to scammers that are betting on you skimming.