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Wire Fraud Defined

Wire Fraud Defined

What is Wire Fraud?

Wire Fraud refers to a type of crime that is committed through the use of technologically-based communication system, including: telephones, computational systems, online networks, the Internet, or electronic databases.

The term ‘Wire Fraud’ originated from the term ‘wiring’ which is innate in modern technological devices. Due to the advancements in computer technology and the increased presence of information and financial data to exist in an intangible format, the potential of Wire Fraud has increased greatly.

Those who commit wire fraud typically do so by “hacking” into an individual’s personal computer or a network of computers. Regardless of the medium, those who participate in wire fraud typically usurp personal and financial information to commit subsequent forms of fraud. The exchange of such information on a technological device is susceptible to such illegal actions; when personal or financial information is breached it can be rapidly used to purchase items, open up new accounts, or commit identity theft.

To prevent wire fraud from taking place, an individual must understand and review the implications that enshroud online transactions. When purchasing a product online for instance, a consumer must be sure that the portal used to purchase the goods is a secured site and does not allow third parties to access the personal or financial information offered. Additionally, an individual should also download or purchase various security programs, such as firewalls, to prevent a hacker or third party from acquiring personal information.

Wire Fraud vs. Fraud 

Fraud encompasses any criminal act in which the intention of purposefully defrauding, deceiving or the misrepresentation of a product or service has taken place. That being said, Wire Fraud allows for anonymity of those who participate in the illegal action, regardless of the mechanism used or the medium where the fraud takes place.

The Nature of Wire Fraud

The following crimes are commonly classified as Wire Fraud:

Solicitation: Solicitation is classified as the intended recruitment of either knowing or unknowing participation in a criminal act

Identity Theft: The criminal act involving the illegal and unlawful acquiring of personal information belonging to another individual with the intent to commit a criminal act

Cyber Crime: A criminal genre in which crime is committed through the usage of computers, the Internet, or virtual networks; this can include – but is not limited to hacking, phishing, SPAM, email fraud, and online stalking

Reporting a Wire Fraud Offense

In the event that an individual has been made aware of an ongoing Wire Fraud, or has been party to a Wire Fraud that has occurred in the past, they are encouraged to contact their local authorities or law enforcement department in order to report the details of the offense. In the event that an individual wishes to do so in an anonymous fashion, they have to opportunity to contact the appropriate government department, such as the National Crime Prevention Council through their telephone number: (202) 466-6272.

Wire Fraud Defined: Exploring What it is and How to Stay Safe

Wire fraud has become a significant concern in today’s digital economy. This type of fraud occurs when a person uses electronic communication to trick someone into transferring money to a fraudulent account. It’s a lucrative way for scammers to profit from unsuspecting victims. In this article, we will define wire fraud, discuss the various types of wire fraud, and explore how to stay safe from wire fraud.

What is Wire Fraud?

Wire fraud is a form of financial fraud that occurs over electronic communication platforms, such as email or social media. The fraudster communicates with the victim, portraying themselves as a legitimate entity, to obtain confidential information, such as bank account details, which enables them to steal money through transfers.

Types of Wire Fraud

1. Business Email Compromise (BEC): This type of wire fraud targets businesses. Scammers typically impersonate executives, requesting the recipient to transfer funds to the wrong bank accounts.

2. Online Purchase Fraud: This scam targets individuals who make online purchases. The scammers deceive individuals into paying for goods or services that are never delivered.

3. Romance Scams: The scammers develop an online relationship with their victims before requesting for the money. Romance scams usually go unreported because often, the victims are embarrassed to admit to their family and friends.

4. Lottery Scams: This type of scam is designed to trick victims into believing they have won a significant sum of money and that they need to transfer a small amount of money as a processing fee.

How to Stay Safe from Wire Fraud

1. Verify the authenticity of the communication: Be skeptical when something seems too good to be true. Take a moment to fact-check the sender’s identity and communication details to check that they are legitimate and not fraudulent.

2. Keep personal information confidential: Regularly monitor credit reports to detect suspicious activity and avoid sharing sensitive information, such as passwords and account details.

3. Use two-factor authentication: This adds an additional layer of security when transferring money, particularly for high-value transactions.

4. Be cautious with public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks are unsecured and therefore, make it easier for scammers to intercept and steal information. Avoid performing any financial transactions on public Wi-Fi networks.

5. Use Secure Payment Systems: When making online purchases, ensure that the payment system is secure. Avoid paying with money transfer services that cannot be tracked.


Wire fraud is a growing concern in the digital age and can target both businesses and individuals. Understanding the risks and different types of wire fraud is crucial to avoid falling victim to this scam. Always remember to verify the authenticity of any communication, keep personal information confidential and use secure payment systems when making online purchases. Finally, stay vigilant and suspicious of any request to transfer money and if you suspect any suspicious activity, report the incident immediately.