A lot of people around here wire money to someone in a foreign country. Nationwide, tens of billions of dollars move across the border each year.
Starting on Monday, a new rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) takes effect that requires banks, thrifts, credit unions and other companies that make international wire transfers to provide customers with better discosures.
"You'll be told what the exchange rate is, what the fees are and the taxes you're paying to send that money," said the CFPB's Gail Hillebrand.
Under the new rule, you also have the right to report errors for up to six months.The company then has 90 days to investigate and tell you teh results.
"If the amount of money you sent did not arrive none of it or only part of it got there - it has to be refunded or sent again," Hillebrand explained.
Another big change: in most cases, customers will have 30 minutes to cancel a wire transaction at no extra cost if the funds have not been picked up by the designated recipient or depoited into their account.
The new rules should clear up a lot of confusion and help people make better decisions about the cost of wiring money overseas. But it won't stop one of the biggest problems - people who get tricked into wiring money to scammers. Con artists convince them to wire large sums of money to claim a non-existent sweepstakes or lottery prize. Or they pretend to be a friend or family member in distress who needs money wired to them right away.
Don't do it! Never wire money to someone you don't personally know because in most cases, once the money is picked up, it's gone forever.
FTC: Money Transfer Scams