Fraud victim advocacy, fraud recoginition and prevention education, and law enforcement support

fraud recognition & prevention education, fraud victim advocacy, law enforcement support

Fraud recognition & prevention education, fraud victim advocacy, law enforcement support


Silence is fraud's best friend.  Word of mouth is fraud's worst enemy.  Pass the word!TM




Fraud Secrets:

A Backstage Tour

Start Tour

Why con artists scam

Profile of a con artist

What con artists look for

How con artists set up their victims

What a con artist won't tell you

What a con artist will tell you

Have I been scammed?

12 excuses for not returning your money

How do I find my money?

Where did my money go?

If you lost your funds in an investment scam, speak to your accountant about a theft deduction.


<<How Fedwire works                                                                  Other wire transfer systems.



Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication


What is a S.W.I.F.T?

S.W.I.F.T. (or SWIFT) stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.  It is a non-profit organization comprised of member financial institutions.  It was established in 1973 by European bankers who needed a more efficient and secure system for inter bank communications and transfer of funds and securities.  Until then, all inter bank communications were by telephone, telex, courier, or mail.

Whereas a Fedwire contains no instructions past the basic funds transfer itself, SWIFT is a messaging service.  Each type of message is a condition of wire transfer.  One cannot refer to a SWIFT message as a "Conditional SWIFT" per se, since all SWIFT's carry conditions.


Swift Messages

SWIFT messages are preset and referred to by category numbers called MT numbers.  For instance, MT800's only deal with Traveler's Checks, MT300's only deal with Foreign Currency Exchanges.

Each type of message or condition in each category is preset as well.  For instance, there are 89 different messages available under the category MT500.  This does not include the occasional sub code.

Certain phrases are allowable; however, but these must be short and to the point, not exceeding a certain number of letters, and the phrases must be acceptable under SWIFT standards.

Each MT category has its own manual of standards.  Depending on the size of the financial institution, each department may only be familiar with the MT manual that pertains to wire transfers made by that department.

What this means is that one cannot write SWIFT instructions that do not work with the preset messages and expect the sending bank to accept them, or the receiving bank to respond.

For instance, HIGH-YIELD INVESTMENT PROGRAM fraud often involves wiring funds to a foreign bank in exchange for a PRIME BANK GUARANTEE.  Sorry folks, that doesn't work.  One can wire funds in exchange for a specific financial instrument, provided the funds are consistent with the cost of the instrument, and provided all the correct arrangements have been made for the issuance of that instrument according to INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE rules.


What does a SWIFT look like?

A SWIFT consists of a one-page document containing the name and code of the originating bank, the date and time, the address and code of the receiving bank, the name and internal code of the officer initiating the transmission, the names and numbers of the accounts involved in the transfer, a description of the asset being transferred, the MT category of the transmission, and acceptable, standardized phrases as described above.


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