Category: Money Laundering

LeftoverForeign Currency? Here’s What You Can Do With It

After the summer holidays have come to a close, many individuals around the world are left with a handful of wonderful memories and an equally large handful of foreign currency from their travels abroad. Although these exotic currency pieces may prove to be a delightful memento of the previous adventure, many people are left wondering what they can do to reap the value of the money they have brought back with them.

One of the most obvious solutions is simply to take the money back to a currency exchange broker and swap it for domestic currency. That being said, it’s important to evaluate exchange rates closely, just as you did during your time abroad, in order to ensure that you get the best deals possible on the money you are returning. Some experts recommend grouping large sums of foreign currency (if you traveled with friends, for example), and exchanging all of this money at one time, as it is likely that you will all receive a more optimal exchange rate.

It’s also worth noting that some foreign exchange brokers offer a “buy-back” option on leftover currency that will ensure that you receive the equal value (according to current exchange rates, obviously) without losing money in exchange fees. Although these services are much harder to find, it may be worth spending time before your trip researching available buy-back options in your area so that you know exactly who to purchase your currency with initially.

A final option may be to simply hold onto the money you’ve brought back, particularly if you are planning on traveling abroad again soon. Instead of losing fractional amounts of currency with each trade, you can simply keep the money in one currency pair and use it again when you resume your travels at a later point. This is especially recommended for business professionals and other individuals who find themselves “on the go” at regular intervals!

There are, obviously, no perfect solutions for this issue, but with a bit of creative, flexible thinking, you can ensure that you emerge victorious in the battle of the exchange rates. Good luck!

Learn how to Save Money and Time on International Currency Transfers

Although international travel is, obviously, one of the most enjoyable and exciting adventures available for many us, current logistical hassles can transform what should otherwise be a carefree and thrilling experience into an annoying and cumbersome series of trials and blunders. International currency transfer remains one of the most important and yet annoying and time-intensive elements of traveling abroad. It’s not uncommon for travelers who have little experience with international money transfer to lose a large part of their initial travel fund on transfer fees and poor exchange rates.

It’s often tempting to approach one of the major high street banks when you first begin pursuing international money exchange services. That being said, these institutions often do not offer customers the best possible exchange rates. A variety of independent money exchange services are available for travelers across the United Kingdom that provide competitive exchange and allow you to spend more of your money on your vacation as opposed to exchange fees.

Due to the fact that foreign currency exchange rates often change on a second-to-second basis, it’s highly important that individuals who may be new to international exchange seek expert advice from those who make foreign exchange their primary business. Fortunately, a growing number of independent services do offer consultation services in addition to standard exchange services. Instead of wasting time and money at the major high street banks, we highly recommend that you explore the numerous advantages offered by independent services in business in virtually every major city in the UK.

For those whose interests fall more in line with long-term international adventures, including buying property in a foreign country, independent currency exchange / transfer services can also be particularly helpful. These businesses can help you establish a regular payment plan which ensures that you won’t miss any important milestones in your payment schedule.

As you can see, there are numerous reasons why an independent exchange service may be helpful for those interested in pursuing cost-effective, budget-friendly money transfers. While the fine details of any transfer or exchange-related endeavour will, obviously, have to be settled between the independent exchange service and the individual seeking to transfer money, it is likely that these issues will not present any long-term difficulties which would impede future plans. Ultimately, using an independent exchange service allows you to invest more of your money into your long-term goals and, simultaneously, prepare for a more exciting future! There’s never been a better time to explore international money transfers and exchange rate services. Contact your nearest independent exchange service today, and learn more about the wide variety of services that may currently be available for you, your friends or your family. Good luck!

‘Rip off’ money transfer companies under threat in the UK

It is estimated that nearly 10% of the world’s population currently sends money to relatives and loved ones in other countries. Knowing this, it is perhaps easy to understand why so many money transfer companies have sprung up in cosmopolitan cities such as London, and why so many individuals have become outraged by the prices they are being charged to send this money.

According to recent statistics, the annual sum of remittances sent from the UK to locations around the world totals in excess of 15 billion pounds. Over 66% of these funds are sent to developing countries. According to the World Bank, the total sum of remittances in 2014 will equate to well over 278 billion pounds.

The lofty fees that many of these money transfer companies are charging for the arrangement of currency delivery has sparked outrage amongst citizens and politicians alike. Labour MP Tessa Jowell has recently launched an investigation into several of these predatory establishments, stating, “Many people who are trying to support friends and family abroad are being ripped off. Instead of their hard-earned money going towards medical bills, books or to cover the cost of failing crops, huge amounts are being creamed off by the giant money transfer companies who have cornered the market.”

Jowell is hoping to gain support for new legislation which, if enacted, would force local money transfer services to cut their fees by half during the months leading up to Christmas, as this is typically the peak time for individuals to send money to loved ones abroad. It will be interesting to observe how the target companies respond, as this is typically one of the most profitable times of the year for them.

According to Scott Paul, a senior humanitarian advisor for Oxfam, the need for new reforms in this particular market are absolutely necessary. “People all around the world depend on help they receive,” Paul stated, “and remittances are a critical part of their efforts to overcome poverty.” Whether or not these desired changes will be enacted has yet to be seen. What can be certain, however, is that awareness of this particular issue has increased dramatically.

PayPal to buy online Money Transfer Company for $890 Million

In the world of modern technology, success often leads to two outcomes: a near-celebrity status among computer geek and digital wizards, as well as a lucrative buy-out offer from one of the world’s tech monoliths who would rather spend a pretty penny acquiring you than compete with you. Such is the case with PayPal, who recently announced that they were going to purchase Xoom Corp for a breathtaking $890 million deal. With the payment being made completely in cash, this is staggering from the online money transfer company.

While some may consider this a shocking move, it is important to remember that PayPal is under pressure to develop and expand their platform quickly after announcing that they would soon be leaving the watchful umbrella of eBay. PayPal’s incoming CEO, Dan Schulman, has made it clear that the company would take an aggressive and dynamic role re-asserting themselves in the marketplace once their autonomy has been finalised.

Most importantly, this new deal leads many witnesses to realise just how important the world of online money transfer has become. Regardless of the currency in question and the intended purpose of the transfer, the fact remains that money transfers occur around the world virtually every second of every day. By developing a powerful software platform on which these transfers can be facilitated, companies such as Xoom are cornering a fabulously lucrative corner of one of the world’s most in-demand marketplaces.

It will be very interesting to see exactly how PayPal continues to deploy their strategy in the upcoming weeks and months. If this recent acquisition is any indication of what observers can expect to see, it is almost guaranteed that PayPal will make headlines more than once. For those who do use PayPal on a regular basis, these services will not be affected by the company’s decision to depart from eBay. Arguably the largest and most successful online money transfer service of all time, PayPal will remain a venerable monolith of the internet and legendary e-commerce success story for years to come. Here’s hoping that this transition plays out smoothly and efficiently in the upcoming months.

Staying Ahead of Money Transfer Scams – What You Need To Know

Although money transfer and foreign exchange services are an absolutely indispensable part of the national economy, the point must also be made that these services have their fair share of problems, most notably the large number of scams and other nefarious activities that have penetrated the industry. According to Financial Fraud Action UK, an advocacy group to identifying and uncovering fraudulent schemes related to money transfer and other finance-related activities in the UK, an estimated 23.6 million pounds sterling were lost in 2014 to savvy fraudsters who preyed upon both local residents and tourists alike.

As part of their research, the FFA UK has identified some of the most common schemes used by those hoping to perpetrate money transfer fraud. The FFA UK has placed particular attention on the “phone scam”, a scheme in which fraudsters call individuals and masquerade as officials from their designated banking institution. Essentially, the fraud works as follows: the scammers often “spoof” the number of the bank in question, making it appear as if the bank is actually calling when caller ID systems are used. At this point, the scammer will tell the individual that fraud has been detected on the account and that they must quickly move their funds into a “safe” account in order to ensure that they are fully protected. This account is, of course, merely a vehicle through which the scammers can then gain access to the available funds, often leaving the victim penniless.

Through their research, the FFA UK discovered that nearly 70% of UK residents had received fraudulent propositions from scammers pretending to represent banking institutions throughout the last year. With this in mind, it is even more important for UK citizens to remain perpetually vigilant and ensure that they do not fall prey to career scammers.

Banks throughout the UK are requesting that individuals who believe they have been in contact with money transferscammers contact their offices immediately in order to report the activity so that they can properly warn the rest of their customers. Only through continued vigilance will such criminal activity be effectively thwarted.

How to save money on currency transfers

International money transfers are an essential element of daily living for a large number of foreign nationals and migrant workers living outside of their native country. In the United Kingdom, for example, there exists a sizeable population of individuals who have arrived here from a kaleidoscopic array of international destinations, ranging from Africa to Asia. These individuals regularly engage in international money transfers with friends and family abroad. That being said, these services can prove to be quite expensive for those who have yet to discover optimal methods for transferring currency at minimal cost.

Although banks are often considered a “go-to” resource for money transfers, these institutions are often guilty of charging lofty service fees on international currency deliveries. Because of this, individuals who are planning on scheduling international currency transfers on regular basis are strongly advised to seek out alternative opportunities to do so.

One of the more popular international money transfer services available to UK citizens is the Telegraph International Money Transfer Service, offered in collaboration with moneycorp. Thanks to affordable transfer rates and an outstanding reputation for service, the Telegraph International Money Transfer Service has quickly been elevated to start status amongst those who engage in international transfers regularly.

The amount of money spent on transfer fees and service charges related to international money transfer on an annual basis is staggering. The issue has become charged enough for accusations of predatory business practices to be levied against some institutions, particularly those who have been found to prey on otherwise unknowing migrants and foreign nationals.

Ultimately, those who are in the process of seeking out an international money transfer service for their next transaction are highly advised to spend the time needed to research all available options before committing to a specific service provider. The chances are good that,with a small amount of time, a more rewarding and cost-efficient offer can be found which will ensure that international money transfers remain beneficial to both sender and receiver. More information about the Telegraph International Money Transfer Service, as well as other affordable, highly successful international money transfer companies can be found on the websites of the companies in question.

Shop staff stop money scam

Two Eastbourne businesses have received commendation and praise from the local police for detecting suspicious transactions conducted by fraudsters, and saving potential victims from being defrauded of money via an elaborated scheme.

Between the 27th and 30th of November, a total of 12 Eastbourne residents were called up by anonymous people who claimed to be police officers. The supposed officers (fraudsters) further elaborated to the residents that their reason for calling was to inform them that their bank accounts had been used or were being used for fraudulent purposes.

The callers further went on to explain to the victims how they could assist them in keeping their money safe. They cleverly provided the residents with the either of the following alternatives with the aim that someone would follow through, and they would swindle that person of their money.

  1. To either send then their account PIN numbers.
  2. To transfer the funds from their accounts to the other account numbers, they would designate for safe keeping.
  3. To withdraw the funds in their accounts and a courier would pick the money up from them with the notion of taking it to a secure location safe keeping.

Nonetheless, in all the cases brought forward, except one, the trick was quickly identified, and no monies were handed over to the schemers.

On the 27th of November, a 47-year-old man received the questionable call and was directed to pay a visit to his Building Society in the town that is a branch of a Nationwide Society, and transfer money in the sum of £9,345 to the fraudsters. Fortunately, the staff at the Building Society became suspicious of the transaction, and they declined to make the transfer after the man had left. When the man came back to the Building Society looking to confirm the transfer, fortunately, the staff managed to convince him eventually into not going through with it; indicating it was a scam. Unfortunately, however, when the man had left the Building Society initially, the tricky caller had made another call to the man, and he had managed to convince the man to give him £1000. According to the man, the caller appeared at the man’s residence and proceeded to identify himself as the caller before picking up the money.

In another incident that occurred on the 30th of November, a man, 82 years of age, received a similar call from a fraudster and he was directed to acquire €5000 in cash. The man did as instructed and withdrew the amount from the Bureau de Change at Marks and Spencer. Fortunately, before the man had proceeded any further with the instructions provided to him, the attentive staff at the Bureau intuitively sensed that something was amiss and urged the man not to continue.

Emma Brice, the Chief Inspector, commended the people who were receiving the calls for not getting involved in the matter but rather choosing to involve the police. She also recognised and praised the efforts of the local businesses that were on the lookout for such scams.

She added that thankfully, most of the attempts made by the callers failed because the residents who received the calls were alert and did not get fooled. However, she urged the residents who got hold of this information on the scammers to pass on a warning to their friends and relatives who may still be unaware of this current type of targeted fraud.

On another note, she encourages the residents of Eastbourne to continue resisting the notorious callers, whom unfortunately seem to be targeting the elderly and vulnerable members of society. This is mainly because; the senior citizens can easily be fooled and confused to the trickery of the schemers.

Euro to Dollar conversion rate declining

As could probably expected given the tumultuous nature of international politics and, perhaps more importantly, the global economy, the fx markets have experienced quite a shakeup over this past month. Although many of us would probably enjoy seeing some degree of stabilisation in the near future, the unfortunate truth remains that many ongoing issues are slowly reaching their apex in coming months (think Brexit, for starters). But, before we continue on what may happen in the future, let’s take a moment to discuss recent shifts in Euro to Dollar conversion, as these actions provide us with a decent context to predict future swings.

Experts consider a recent dip in the noted University of Michigan confidence index to have sparked a brief rally in an otherwise gloomy Euro Dollar slide. While the USD has fallen slightly, the Euro has been given an opportunity to gather the forces needed to initiate a much needed rally. Unfortunately, a host of dismal economic data being recently reported out of the Eurozone has made it somewhat difficult for the Euro to gain traction. According to recent reports, a surprisingly painful contraction in the EU’s trade surplus earlier this year (weighing it at just about 2.6 billion Euros) has proven to be a serious impediment for the Euro Dollar. Combined with the fact that inflation is occurring at a much faster rate than previously thought, the EUR has little positive news to pin a rally on.

In fact, even a spate of negative news out of the US is not providing a true foundation for upward momentum within the EUR. Consumer price date in the United States is at a depressingly low level, which would, historically, provided a valuable ‘bump’ for the EUR – this time around, however, no surge occurred. Likewise, statements from the Fed regarding squeamish monetary policy have almost always paved the way for EUR gains…except now. Suffice to say, it seems larger issues may be on hand if the Euro Dollar cannot find a boost in these historically rich offerings out of the United States. That being said, it is also important to note that international news outside of the US / EU domestic economy can also affect currency prices, and this scenario is no exception to the rule. China has recently announced a higher than expected growth percentages and a substantial boost of exports, news which was received warmly in the US and helped yet again strengthen the USD against the EUR.

What with all of the tumult in the EU regarding a potential Brexit, it is, perhaps, more easy to understand why traditional indicators are not yielding traditional results. The implications of such an observation are, however, troubling in their own right. With a break from history and, thus, historical trends, comes a journey into proverbially ‘uncharted waters’. There is little that analysis can offer when proven indicators do not yield proven results. Of course, this situation could change at a minute’s notice, or perhaps when the US releases their next round of economic reports. Until then, however, it will be quite interesting to observe how the Euro dollar withstands a seemingly unending stream of bad news spilling out of the European press. Sentiment, of course, plays a huge role in both traditional stock exchanges and the fx markets alike. With that in mind, it seems quite reasonable to assume that low morale could easily attribute to low value. Experts advise investors to watch closely for tests of support in the 1.230/20 region, as a break here may signal larger losses in the near future.

Five EU Nations Are Starting to Work Together

The Panama Papers have proven to be a significant source of controversy in the European union. Given the relatively worrisome state of the EU economy, it should come as no surprise that members of the general public are outraged when information regarding tax havens, currency exchange, and secret accounts amongst members of the political class is leaked. In response to this anger, representatives from the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain have recently announced that they will be launching a collaborative effort to crack down on the growth of secretive financial dealings amongst affluent business leaders and politicians. This five-nation coalition has initiated a new data sharing initiative which, it is hoped, will ensure that business owners are held accountable for the appropriate amount of taxes they should be required to pay by law.

The implications of this collaboration are quite significant. Most importantly, it sets a new precedent by which these five nations are hoping to encourage the remaining members of the G20 to adopt similar disclosure methods. As a point of reference, it is important to note that G20 members such as the United States, Saudi Arabia and China do not currently allow for the disclosure of citizens’s tax information. This has made accountability a particularly elusive measure, and has helped to stoke tensions between nations seeking to increase their tax revenue by cracking down on corruption and illicit dealings.

In a statement regarding the induction of these new policies, British Chancellor George Osborne proclaimed, “Today we deal another hammer blow against those who hide their illegal tax evasion in the dark corners of the financial system…Britain will work with our major European partners to find out who really owns the secretive shell companies and trusts that have been used as conduits for evading tax, laundering money and benefitting from corruption.”

Although the UK and its four partner nations are, obviously, taking these measures quite seriously, many experts remain skeptical that these measures will produce long-lasting, substantial reform in either tax or currency exchange issues. International coalitions operate at peak efficiency when a large number of partner nations agree to collaborate. At the moment, the reach of these new policies remains quite narrow. With that in mind, tax evasion will likely continue to remain a serious problems for the foreseeable future. It is the hope of Osborne and others, however, that these new policies will provide a symbolic and tangible victory for government regulators.

Hackers stolen £651 million from banks

For years, financial institutions around the world have relied upon the Swift payment system for international transactions with partner organisations, individuals, businesses etc. In a way, Swift has proven itself to be a highly efficient, ultra-reliable tool by which the world’s financial infrastructure can operate. Recently, however, a group of as yet unidentified hackers have proven that even a system as secure and heavily defended as Swift can be manipulated in order to help perpetrate cybercrime and digital theft.

According to official reports by global security experts, a team of hackers recently targeted the Bangladesh central bank as part of a massive cyber theft attack involving international money transfer. As a result of the attack, nearly 55 million pounds Sterling were diverted into the hands of these culprits. Although experts now know that the money was transferred to the Philippines, little information has been made available regarding who may have been behind this perfectly executed heist.

This crime has underscore the need for fresh thinking when it comes to designing and properly implementing theft deterrent measures within the Swift network. As it currently stands, there are nearly 11,000 banks and financial institutions which utilise the Swift payment network on a regular basis. In a recent response to the theft, representatives from Swift have stated that the company has known of “…a number of recent cyber incidents in which malicious insiders or external attackers have managed to submit Swift messages from financial institutions’ back offices”.

It is perhaps, reassuring to know that the means by which these criminals were able to manipulate the Swift system was through external means, i.e. the banking infrastructure itself as opposed to the Swift transfer mechanisms. In this heist, for example, Swift merely operated as a means by which the funds were transferred as opposed to the method by which hackers gained access to the funds.

Methods aside, however, this incident serves as a stark reminder that money transfer remains a potentially dangerous and risky tools for businesses and individuals alike. Although the Swift system may not have been directly involved in the heist, it remains the primary vehicle by which one of the world’s larger thefts was successfully completed. More information regarding this shocking crime will likely be made available in the near future. Investigators are actively searching for further information regarding this crime and the identification of possible suspects.

Translate »