Findings from GlobalData’s 2023 Financial Services Consumer Survey reveal that individuals who send money abroad to family or friends are almost four times as likely to have suffered from financial fraud compared to those who have not sent remittances.

In the worst case, 29% of people living in Germany who have sent money abroad experienced financial fraud in the past three years, compared to only 8% of those who did not send any peer-to-peer payments.

The survey also reveals that remittance senders are more likely to be expatriates living in a foreign country, who potentially do not speak the local language. This makes it easier for scammers to take advantage of them. They are also not familiar with the financial system, making it harder for them to spot potential scams when they arise.

Data from InterNations, a global network and guide for expats, supports these findings. According to its Expat Essentials Index, Germany is the country where expats struggle the most to get acquainted. In countries such as the UAE and Singapore, where expats typically have an easier time, the discrepancy in fraud rates between remittance senders and those who do not send remittances is much lower.

Payment service providers that facilitate remittance payments should take note of these findings. In response, they should provide guidance and tips about potential scams and what to look out for alongside their remittance services. This advice should also be available in a wide range of languages so that the expat community can fully understand the scams that they may come across.

Yasha Kuruvilla is an analyst, banking and payments, at GlobalData

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