Last year Americans lost $50 million to romance scammers. Western Union has come into harsh criticism for letting customers send their wires when they have reason to know that the money is going to a scammer.
How would they know? Well, just like we get many questions asking us about the same thing and giving us the same patterns and sometimes even the same people, so does Western Union, and they have begun to becom proactive to protect their business reputation.
These days if Westen Union sees a lot of wire transfers going overseas to the same address in a high scam country such as Ghana, Nigeria and Malaysia, they will refuse to let you send the wire.
There is nothing you can do about this. They do not have to take your business. You can go elsewhere to another wire service such as MoneyGram or buy your online romance a MoneyPak card. But before you throw away your money, step back and think of this. Why would a company that is in business to make a profit deliberately turn you away? It's because they are trying to warn you that you're asking for trouble and that they are in a position to know.
One should never send money by wire to anyone that you haven't met in person. Web cams and skype don't count. An online contact is a stranger until you've actually met, because too many of them are not really who, what or where they pretend to be but can hide behind the computer so long as you never meet.
Wire Transfers are instantaneous, irreversible and untraceable. You might as well throw your money off of your rooftop in the middle of a hurricane, because that's how close you'll get to ever seeing it again once the scammer bleeds you dry. Strangers don't ever ask strangers for money unless they are panhandlers and thieves.
You havent told me anything about the recipient of the wire, but I can already tell you that you met him or her on an online dating service or social networking site and that he or she fell in love with you faster than the speed of light and came on like gangbusters to sweep you off of your feet and charm you into thinking you were going to be the happiest man or woman on earth.
But that's just the way they get you to think with your heart instead of your head when they have some kind of problem for which they want your money.
Like I have said, you can contact this person and make arrangements to wire her another way. Or you can read this article and see how much sounds familiar. (See link)
You can also use the reply tab below and then the paperclip icon to upload his or her photo to the thread so that I can try to trace it for you. Not all the time, but often enough, it's a great way to learn what the person you think you're in love with is really up to. Western Union can't give you all that they know because they have to keep customer information private. But they know something, that's for sure, and you ought to check this person out more fully before running over to MoneyGram or WalMart and sending your money overseas to someone you have never met.