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26
Jun

Common-Sense Scam Prevention Tips

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In the remittance universe, scam prevention is a team effort between the customer and money transfer company. If you do encounter any suspicious or unauthorized activity in your account, you should contact your provider immediately. In those cases, the money transfer company should immediately secure your account, conduct a thorough investigation and, if it turns out that someone has hacked into your account and sent money in your name, your money transfer company’s policy should be to cover you for the full amount of the unauthorized transaction.

Many of the top money transfer companies provide tips on their websites to help you protect yourself from harmful situations when sending money back home. The different types of scams are well-documented and a few online searches can provide a comprehensive list of the most “popular” scams in use today.

Here, we will quickly summarize a few of the most commonplace scams, just to give you an idea of what is out there and a few suggestions about how to spot them and prevent them from ever causing you trouble.

Send Only to People You Know – This is just common sense. Only send money to the family or someone you know well. Don’t send a dime to anyone you don’t know. Strangers will try all sorts of creative ways to con you out of your money. Family and friends only. Period.

Be Vigilant – Always be on the alert for scammers with offers that are too good to be true or who send you alarming messages that someone close to you is sick or in danger and needs money sent right away to prevent some sort of disaster. Other all-too-familiar categories of scams include lotto winnings, disaster relief, loans, classified ad purchases, fake checks, romance and a host of others. Bottom line: If you’re not totally convinced right away that it is a scam, independently verify with another family member or friend so you can be 100% sure whether it’s a scam or legitimate (rare).

Safeguard Your Password – Here’s another very important reminder: Don’t give out your password. And don’t create a password that might be easy for someone else to guess. Complex combinations of letters, numbers and symbols will go a long way to preventing any unauthorized person from gaining access to your account. If you do think your password may have been compromised, change it immediately and contact your provider.

19
May

Plan on Sending Money for those going back to school?

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That time of year is rolling around again, possibly quicker than some kids want and yet they’re probably still really excited about it even if they won’t admit it. Yes, it’s three very big words:  Back-to-School. It’s coming right up and no child can return to school unprepared, so back-to-school shopping is in full force.

Of course, the expenses can pile up, which makes it a very good time to help out.

Xoom, a leading digital money transfer provider, conducted an exclusive survey of its Fil-Am customers recently and asked its clients if they planned to send money to someone in the Philippines for Back-to-School expenses.

Nearly half of the respondents in the survey, 49 percent, said they intend to send money back home to lend a hand in Back-to-School expenses. Meanwhile, 27 percent answered that they were not planning to send money, and 24 percent in the survey said they were not yet sure.

Schoolchildren probably think more about seeing their schoolmates again instead of how they’re getting a fresh start for a brand new year of learning in the classroom. But their parents also keep an eye on the bottom line, and Xoom is there to make it easy for friends and family to help out their loved ones.

12
May

What’s most important when choosing a smartphone or tablet?

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If you’re in the market for electronic devices – and if you aren’t now, you surely will be – there are so many choices that might make you feel overwhelmed.  But just as surely as there are many ways to go, there are also many options out there that are important and will help you make the decision that’s best for you.

So what’s most important when choosing a smartphone or a tablet? Xoom, a global leader in the money transfer business, recently conducted an exclusive survey of its Fil-Am customers to find out.

The kind of operating system the device uses was the most important reason to 26 percent who answered the survey.  App capabilities and brand were the most important reason chosen by 18 percent in the survey, while 15 percent said it was the price of the smartphone or tablet.

The life of the battery was the most important reason for 10 percent of the respondents and five percent said the size of the screen was the deciding issue.

What’s most important to you?  Maybe it’s best to take into account all of the reasons that make selecting a smartphone or tablet important.  You’re the one that’s going to be using it, after all.

7
May

Which gift will you give Mom for Mother’s Day?

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It’s always the same date every year and it’s also something you will always remember for a very basic reason. Because Mother’s Day is simply unforgettable. The second Sunday every May is the one single day on the calendar and in your heart when we recognize our mothers and give them the respect they deserve every day of the year.

But what do you do for your mothers on her special day? Xoom, a global leader in the money transfer business, conducted an exclusive study of its FilAm customers to find out.

Flowers for Mother’s Day, sure, you may have guessed that flowers are the most popular gift for moms, as 31 percent of those asked in the survey responded. Some 20 percent who answered the survey said a gift card was their idea how to best show respect for their mothers on Mother’s Day.

And 15 percent of the respondents said a special Mother’s Day card was their choice of honoring mom, nine percent answered a day at the spa or salon, six percent said perfume or makeup and five percent said their choice of gift for their mother would be chocolates.

Whatever your mother gets, she’ll be happy, as long as it’s wrapped in love.

5
May

Which devices do you use at home to access the internet?

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Staying connected isn’t just about maintaining a relationship because there clearly is a practical side to it as well. The truth is that if you’re not connected, you’re out of touch, literally, at least in one particular instance that probably you and everyone around you understands easily.

Consider the question Xoom recently asked its Fil-Am customers in an exclusive survey conducted by the money transfer leader. Xoom asked ‘What devices do you use at home to access the internet?’

Perhaps not surprisingly, there was an overwhelming choice – laptop or desktop was the answer from 96 percent of the respondents in the survey. Some 34 percent said they used their smart phone to access the internet at home and 16 percent answered that they used their tablet while 12 percent who took the survey said something else.

It seems possible that smart phones are most often used when you’re on the go, and that it’s more convenient to log on using your laptop or desktop when you’re at home. But whatever device to access the internet works best for you, it seems clear that staying connected is becoming an even greater part of our lives. And it probably isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.

21
Apr

Have you sent a balikbayan box to the Philippines in the last 12 months?

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Sending a gift package or receiving one, there is probably no difference in which makes you feel better. And it doesn’t even have to be a birthday or a Christmas or a special occasion, either, it is merely the act.

Xoom, one of the global leaders in money transfers, conducted an exclusive survey of its Fil-Am customers recently and asked this intriguing question: ‘Have you sent a balikbayan box to the Philippines in the last 12 months?’

More than half of the respondents, 56 percent, said yes they had, while 44 percent said they had not. That probably means they are getting around to it soon.

There is something special about the decades-old custom of sending boxes to family and loved ones back home, filled with such items as non-perishable food, clothing, linen, household items or toys. Often it doesn’t even matter if some of the items aren’t difficult to find in the Philippines. Rules allow one balikbayan box from the sender every six months.  The boxes are easy to get at most shipping container stores.

Most of the time, it doesn’t really matter what’s inside, because the impact balikbayan boxes have is about something else – enhancing the Philippine tradition and culture for preserving family ties that can be expressed in gift-giving.

14
Apr

How many hours a week do you spend online watching non-Filipino videos, shows or movies?

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When it comes to watching television, it may be that the only thing everyone can agree on is that the ultimate symbol of authority is the person who is holding the remote control. Everything else is up for grabs, or so it seems. But of course, it goes far beyond broadcast TV. In the mix, there is also streaming television, videos and on-line movies as well.

Xoom came up with a provocative question in its latest survey of Fil-Am customers who use the global money transfer giant. Xoom asked, ‘How often do you watch non-Filipino videos, shows or movies on-line?’

The answers are telling, and what they’re telling us is that Filipinos have strong opinions about their entertainment intake and that they are steadfastly loyal to a specific source of it.

Less than a quarter of the Fil-Ams surveyed, 23 percent, said they watch non-Filipino videos, shows or movies online more than five hours a week. Meanwhile, 20 percent said that number is three to five hours a week and 27 percent answered less than three hours a week. The largest percentage of respondents – 30 percent – said that they never watch non-Filipino videos, shows or movies online.

11
Apr

Selecting a Money Transfer Service: Choose Transparency and Reliability

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When it comes to sending money to loved ones at home, you want to choose a company that has little to no surprises along the way. Fortunately, today, there are more consumer protections in place that require money transfer companies to maintain transactional information before, during and after you make your transfer. But in the rare instance that something unexpected interferes with the successful transfer of your money, it is worth examining how your prospective company handles that situation.

Full Disclosure – Every Step of the Way
Due to a lack of consumer protections, the process of transferring money has not always been as transparent as it is today. In the past, remittance senders might not have been able to view some key information throughout the transfer. For example, while they may have known the fees up-front, they may have been unclear about how much money was actually received on the other end. Plus, if there was an error in the transaction, they may not have understood what the cause of the error was or how to quickly resolve the issue.

Today there are more federal regulations in place to help protect customers, especially when it comes to displaying all relevant information that affects senders and recipients during the transfer process. Items such as up-front fees, exchange rates, the amount of money the recipient will receive and the time when the money will be available to be picked up all must now be revealed. Knowing that you can see every piece of information that impacts your transfer should help boost confidence in the integrity of the process. Look for a clear disclosure of all of your fees prior to sending.

This is why at Xoom, we enable customers to track the status of their transfers online, via SMS text messages or email updates, or by taking advantage of 24/7 phone support if questions still remain. We will automatically send you e-mail updates at three stages of the process: 1) Soon after you submit a transaction, 2) When your payment has cleared and your remittance has been transferred to a trusted banking or retail partner in the recipient’s country and 3) When your recipient has received the funds.

Quick and Painless Error Correction
Money transfer companies are generally responsible for remittance errors. Thus, if a remittance sender reports a problem with a transfer within 180 days, the provider must perform an investigation into the error and correct the problem. If the money transfer company uses agents, they may also be held accountable for mistakes made by their agents. This is a very important item to investigate. Check to confirm that the company you choose offers a money-back guarantee, thereby ensuring the money you send will be received by your recipient or they’ll refund your transaction in full. If you can’t find this information on their website, contact them and make sure it is an official part of their policy. If they don’t do it, don’t use them.

At Xoom, we understand just how important this remittance process is to the well-being of your families. That is why we strive to be as transparent and reliable as possible, we offer a money-back guarantee for your peace of mind and we were the first to adhere to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s regulations.