Amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, many people in the U.S. are trying to help family and friends, and those who’ve fled the country, including finding ways to send them money directly. There are a number of resources aimed at helping you safely send money overseas, as well as to help loved ones make informed financial decisions, and to protect against fraud.
Sending money overseas
If you’re sending money abroad, you have federal rights and protections. Especially in the case of an emergency, you want to ensure the right amount is getting safely into the hands of the correct person.
Before you send money, the money transfer or remittance company generally is required to tell you:
- Exchange rate
- Amount to be transferred
- Taxes collected by the money transfer company
- Certain fees
- Amount the recipient will receive (in some cases, this may be lower than the amount transferred because of fees charged by the recipient’s bank and foreign taxes)
Afterward, the remittance provider also gives you a disclosure showing the information above, as well as the date the money will be available to the recipient. Keep in mind because of the conflict, the provider might tell you a date that’s later than usual. And, for the same reason, you might find the money is delayed.
You have the right to shop around for the best provider. You can also cancel a transfer – generally within 30 minutes after payment is made – at no cost unless the transfer has been picked up or deposited into the recipient’s account.
Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) page on Sending Money to Another Country.
Sharing money and resources with family and friends
Research shows one in three U.S. adults provides financial support to family and friends. Most people want to help protect those close to them, especially in urgent situations.
Getting financial support to loved ones in areas affected by military conflict may be your most important priority right now. To help, the CFPB has some tips to having successful conversations and clarifying financial arrangements, so your most important relationships can stay strong and stable.
Helping others – safely
While lending a helping hand to those in need, it’s also a good idea to make sure your own money situation is as safe, secure and stable as possible. Take care to avoid costly mistakes and scams, and consider taking steps to guard against unexpected events in your own situation.
Mobile payment services and apps let you send money to people without having to write a check, swipe a card or hand them cash. When sending money through your mobile device, make sure your money goes where you want it to.
A common scam during a natural disaster is a charity scam, where a fake organization is created to con people into donating money.
To help you as you assist others, as well as think through your own emergency preparations, check out CFPB’s guide for preparing, recovering and rebuilding after a disaster. And, you can use their checklist for gathering financial information and documents to prepare for emergencies or reconstruct your financial life after a disaster.