CHOICE membership

Avoiding scam when transferring funds on-line

How can one safely transfer funds on-line as banks do not check the name of recipients?

Some companies only accept payment by on-line bank transfers. Tesla is one such company, and recently a purchaser had his funds intercepted by a hacker. The hacker’s bank did not check the name of the payee, so the purchaser lost a great deal of money.


Hi @alora185, welcome to the community.

If one wishes to transfer more than one wishes to lose, it is strongly recommended that one contacts the business by traditional methods such as telephoning, post mail or dropping in, to confirm banking details for the transfer. Phone numbers and postal addresses should also be sourced through official websites or white pages/ and not from emails or documents sent by email.

If you have a secure online account with the business, send a private message though this online account to confirm banking details.

Doing such will reduce the risks of sending monies to a fraudulent accounts using bank details sent by intercepted emails.

The challenge for banks is if they only accepted recipient details which were accurate, a lot of transfers or payments would fail through incorrect recepient details or through an accidental typo.

An example would be the right company name bring A.B.C. Pty Ltd. If one uses any other such as A. B. C. Pty Ltd, A B C Pty Ltd, A.B.C. P/L, A.B.C., ABC P/L etc the transaction would fail potentially causing grief to the sender.


I have on a number of occasions sent a test transfer through first, for say $10.
I would then ask the intended recipient if they had got that, and then transferred the remainder if the answer was yes.
That sorts out any issues with account details being incorrect.


According to the news report, this is what the Tesla purchaser did. He obviously felt confident with the $10 test and then the hacker struck on the remainder.



Dealing with a corporate travel agency today, they called to confirm payment account details even though we had sent them by email a couple of months ago. They now call and confirm each payment on the day that the payment is to be made to ensure that payment details are correct. They also wanted us to provide payment details to them to confirm it was the same as they had previously received, rather than reading what they had received back to us. They indicated that it is to ensure that payment details were correct and were that of the business. It appears they have adopted this process to also reduce email interception and payment/bank transfer fraud.

These are possibly lessons for anyone (business or individual) to ring and confirm the payment details on the day payment is to be made to ensure that are going to the right account/business…rather than assuming that details in electronic correspondence was correct and finding out later they were wrong ir the money had been sent to a fraudster.

A stong suggestion is if the amount of money is more than one is willing to lose when dealing with email/online payment requests, ring the person/organisation using the known contact details (contact details you have sourced rather than being provided) to confirm payment details. The 5 minute phone call might save a huge amount of grief.