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There are many reasons why you might need or want to send money abroad. You or a loved one may be living, working, vacationing, or studying out of the country. And you never know when an emergency might come up that calls for safe, secure, fast access to extra funds. So it’s nice to know there’s a plan in place should that need ever arise.

But anytime money is involved, staying safe and making sure your transactions are secure is an absolute must. Here are a few tips to remember the next time you need to send money overseas for any reason.

Decide which method is suitable for you

Spend much time researching your choices, and you’ll quickly see that your options are wide open regarding transfer methods. You can send money via bank transfers, money orders, wire transfers, online remittance services, and more.

Each method has its own perks and drawbacks. Some are more expensive but may get there much faster. Others take a while but make it possible to save a little more of your hard-earned money on fees.

However, if it’s likely that you’ll be making more than one transfer over an extended period, it may be more practical to stick with just one option instead of alternating between several.

Be aware of potential scams

When it comes to wire transfers and similar ways to send money, especially quickly, it’s often not possible to retrieve the funds later should you need to. So, as you can imagine, fraud and scams happen often.

Make sure you know how to spot common examples, like the following.

  • Sometimes scammers pretend to be a loved one in need of emergency funds. This can be done either anonymously or using stolen personal data.
  • Scammers sometimes use common phishing methods (like deceptive emails) to trick people into sending money.
  • A more patient scammer might even leverage a person’s emotions to establish a fake romantic or platonic connection solely for the purpose of asking for money later.

However, while the above examples are among the more common scams, they’re not the only ones. So keep your eyes open, and always use your best judgment. If something seems fishy or off, it’s usually because it is.

Verify the validity of the request

If you have a loved one who’s going abroad for whatever reason, decide on an emergency plan in advance.

That plan should involve their checking in with you regularly, so you know they’re OK. It’s also a good idea to decide on an emergency payment method in advance so you both know what the plan is.

Anytime you do receive an urgent request from a loved one in need of money and something seems off, verify that it’s a legitimate request from the person you think it is before moving ahead.

Understand how exchange rates work

Anytime you’re looking to transfer money in one currency to someone who needs to receive it in another, it’s crucial to know what the going exchange rate is. Rates fluctuate up and down constantly, so your hard-earned money is going to go much further sometimes than others.

The more significant the amount you’re sending, the more even little differences can eventually add up, so make sure you check on the current rate, even if you’re sure you already know because you’ve checked recently.

The going rate may have been one thing yesterday, but that’s no guarantee it will be the same today.

Read also: 9 Fast and Easy Ways to Send Money Online

Consider a dedicated money transfer app

Whether you plan on sending money abroad regularly or just want to take the hassle out of the occasional potential transfer, a trusted international money transfer app is a solid option to consider. Such apps are designed to take much of the guesswork out of sending money via features like built-in exchange rate monitoring.

They’re also secure, trackable, and convenient, as you can often use your choice of a mobile app or a standard online web system.

You usually have your options open as far as how you can fund the transfer on your end, as well. Just do your research first. Choose an option that’s legitimate, widely trusted, and user-friendly. You’ll be glad you did.