Category: COVID-19

Ria Money Transfer COVID-19 Information Base

During these trying times, having the right information at hand is crucial. To help streamline the process of using our sending and receiving services, we’ve put together a list of sources ranging from FAQs to how to avoid COVID-19 scams. We recommend consulting these links prior to visiting our stores in person for the most up-to-date information.

For quick access, this information is available on our COVID-19 Information Base page found in our top navigation.

Your COVID-19 Money Transfer Questions: Answered

In these uncertain times, we understand you may have questions regarding our service and the process of sending money. Below, you will find a list of frequently asked questions we’ve been getting amid the COVID-19 crisis. For more general information about our services or how to send money with Ria, please visit our Knowledge Base.

 

Can I still send and receive money with Ria?

Yes, most of our services and locations remain active. We also encourage you to utilize our digital solutions to send money at www.riamoneytransfer.com or through our money transfer app available in the US and Canada.

While most of our retail locations are open, some areas may be temporarily shut down or following different opening hours due to specific government guidance. Given the dynamic situation, we recommend customers to please check the Store Locator on our website or Google Maps for the most up-to-date information. Before leaving your home, please call your local store to confirm availability of services and business hours.

 

Can I still send or receive money in countries that have declared a state of emergency?

Yes, but it varies per country. While our goal is to keep digital and retail services operational across the world, we’re abiding to all local regulations and guidelines. Given the dynamic situation, Ria is recommending customers experiencing local restrictions to use Riamoneytransfer.com and choose payout methods like direct bank and mobile wallet deposits, which are currently available in more than 125 countries.

 

What happens if my preferred location is closed due to the COVID-19 situation?

Our team is working around the clock to ensure our network suffers as little disruption as possible. However, given the complexity of the situation, some locations may be closed by local authorities. For this reason, we recommend sending money through riamoneytransfer.com or the Ria Money Transfer app available in the US and Canada and selecting mobile wallet or bank account delivery options whenever possible. We also ask that you please call your chosen Ria location to confirm business hours and availability before leaving your home.

 

If I can’t leave the house, can someone pick up the money on my behalf?

For security reasons, only the designated receiver can pick up a transfer. If you live in an area with imposed mobility restrictions, check with your local authority to see if going to collect a money transfer is a valid exception and what steps should be taken. If this is not an option, please get in touch with our Customer Service team to discuss alternatives.

Do I lose the money if I can’t pick up my transfer?

If you can’t pick up your transfer, you can call our Customer Service team to either select an alternative payout method or to issue a refund to the sender.

 

How do you know which retail locations to keep open?

We’re evaluating the situation in each city, country, and region following all instructions provided by local governments and international health bodies. If the local authorities are allowing money transfer operators to continue working, our stores remain open. In these cases, we have provided our retail employees with updated safety guidelines as well as the necessary protective gear.

 

How is Ria helping its customers through this crisis?

Although the spread of COVID-19 poses a global challenge, our customers are always at the heart of everything we do. We are here to reassure you that we will continue offering our services during this trying time. We understand that this is a critical time for you and your family, and we will do all we can to help you support your loved ones through this crisis.

For greater comfort, our digital services: riamoneytransfer.com and our mobile app remain available as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of our stores and agents are open, with some of them operating under restricted schedules. We encourage you to contact your preferred location for updated opening hours or consult Google Maps.

For more information, please visit our COVID-19 Information Base.

How to Send and Receive Money with Ria Money Transfer

In these times of uncertainty, being able to reach our loved ones is more important than ever. The world may be in frenzy, but we still have a responsibility towards our family, friends, and communities, no matter where they may be around the globe.

But, if there’s anything you, our customer, have taught us, is that distance is no match for love. No ocean or social distancing can come in the way of being there for those you care about, not today and not ever.

Right now, there are many things up in the air, and we want to give you one less thing to worry about. As your home away from home, we take your welfare and that of your loved ones seriously.

As a start, we’d like to remind you of the different options available to send and receive money with Ria, including digital methods.

We’ll also go in detail about requirements and share some additional resources so you can have them handy.

Options for sending money with Ria Money Transfer

Online: send money online through riamoneytransfer.com. This service is available in the United Kingdom, Spain, Canada, Australia, and the United States to send across Ria’s payout network of 160 countries.

Ria Money Transfer App: service available in the United States and Canada for payout across Ria’s network. Download the app here.

Retail Locations: most of our retail and agent locations remain operative, although opening hours may be affected by local regulations and safety protocols. Find your nearest location using our Store Locator. Since COVID-19 measures are constantly changing, we recommend checking Google Maps for the most updated schedules. We also encourage you to call and confirm with your preferred agent or store prior to leaving the house.

Requirements for sending money

Whether you’re sending money online or in person, there are a few documents you will need to process the money transfer. To minimize exposure, please make sure to bring these with you when visiting our stores.

  • Valid ID (local national ID or passport)
  • Beneficiary’s full legal name

For direct bank deposits, you’ll also need to provide:

  • Bank name
  • Bank account number

Options for receiving money with Ria Money Transfer

Before choosing a payout method, check with your beneficiary. They may be able to opt for a digital option. For customers who rely solely on cash pick-up, we encourage them to check with their nearest Ria location to confirm opening hours and safety protocols.

Agent locations: determine the most convenient physical location for your beneficiary using our Store Locator.

Bank Deposit:  one of the most secure ways to send money, we count with the largest bank deposit network in the world reaching 3 billion bank accounts across more than 120 countries. Deposit money directly into your beneficiary’s bank account by simply selecting “bank deposit” as a payout method and providing your beneficiary’s IBAN number.

Mobile Wallet: send money to your loved ones in Albania, Bangladesh, Burundi, Croatia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe directly into a mobile wallet app.

Choosing a payout method online:

screenshot of ria website

Choosing a payout method on the Ria Money Transfer app:   

screenshot of ria app

Requirements for receiving money

To cash pick-up at any of our agent locations, your beneficiary will need to provide the following information:

  • Valid ID (local national ID or passport)
  • Order number

Before your beneficiary leaves the house, double-check that the name on the order matches that on their identity document. In case you need to make a change, get in touch with our customer service team.

Other resources available

The following online resources are available to send and receive money with Ria.

If you have any questions regarding our services, please feel free to contact us. Please note that, to protect the safety of our employees, all office staff is working from home. As a result, there could be some delays in response times. We thank you for your patience during this trying time. Rest assured that our team is working around the clock to continue providing the best service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From all of us at Ria, we’d like to thank you for being a beacon of resilience and remind you that we are always here to support you. And remember: you’re not alone in this fight. We are here for you, as we’ve always been. As your home away from home, we take your welfare and that of your loved ones seriously.

Stay safe, and we will get through this together.

ria-money-transfer-blog-campaign-distance-is-no-match-for-love

Covid-19 Update: a Message from Ria

Dear customers, in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, we want to reassure you that our services remain active and that we have multiple teams closely monitoring the situation to ensure we continue delivering the best possible service.

As governments implement measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, first-necessity services like money transfers will remain available to customers around the world. In extraordinary situations such as this one, remittances represent a lifeline for millions of families around the world. Today, more than ever before, primary providers living overseas need the means to continue supporting their loved ones back home. 

Ria has taken all necessary measures and precautions to ensure it is doing its part in preventing the spread of the virus, while also providing vital money transfer services to its customers. As of this week, most office-based workers have moved to telecommuting, and retail employees are receiving updated guidelines and protocols to protect their health and that of their customers. 

For greater comfort, digital services (riamoneytransfer.com and the Ria Money Transfer app) remain available as usual to customers online. 

Most stores and agent locations remain open, although some may be operating under restricted schedules in compliance with local regulation. Updated store hours are available on Google Maps.In addition, customers in the United States can access our services through Walmart2World. 

“We understand that this is a critical time for you and your family, and we will do all we can to help you support your loved ones through this crisis,” shared Juan Bianchi, CEO of Euronet’s Money Transfer Segment. “We are here to reassure you that you can count on us and our services during this trying time.” 

With multiple teams closely monitoring the situation, the company has implemented several contingency plans meant to minimize disruptions that could arise as the situation progresses. Ria’s customer service representatives are also available to answer any questions or concerns. For more information, please visit www.riamoneytransfer.com. 

COVID-19 Scams: How to Spot and Avoid Them

Scammers see times of fear and difficulty as an opportunity to try to manipulate people into giving up sensitive information or downloading malicious software to facilitate data theft. Such is the case now with the coronavirus pandemic affecting the entire world.

Although the risk of scams is rising, here you’ll find out how to spot a COVID-19 scam and how to avoid it.

 

COVID-19 scams: how bad are they?

The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) released a statement advising the public to be vigilant about fraudsters “exploiting the fear of uncertainty” surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak.

While it’s true that Interpol has dealt with at least 30 COVID-19 related frauds to date, you can avoid falling victim to scams by learning how to spot them. Firstly, you’ll need to recognize what a potential COVID-19-related fraud looks like.

 

What do COVID-19 scams look like?

As a starting point, scammers are becoming increasingly creative and resourceful plotters. Their tactics will relate to current events concerning the Coronavirus outbreak, making their communication seem relevant and urgent. Here we list some of the COVID-19 scams reported across the world.

 

Phishing emails

A phishing email is one that appears to mimic that of a legitimate entity. It typically uses the same brand name, logo, colors and slogan of the company it’s trying to imitate.

The aim is to use the credibility of an established brand or company name to get you to open the email and click on a link. The malicious link may take you to a site where you’ll be asked to enter your sensitive data, such as your credit card number. Alternatively, it could trigger the download of malware, facilitating data theft.

As more people watch the news unfold about the coronavirus, the names of health organizations have become increasingly familiar with the public. These include the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unsurprisingly, the names of these institutions have been used in many phishing emails circulating the internet.

Below is an example of a phishing email claiming to be from the CDC. Note the malicious link at the bottom that you are invited to click on.

screenshot of phishing email

 

Investment scams

Investment scams, otherwise known as “pump and dump” schemes, are run by small, publicly-traded companies that issue microcap stocks. These are low-priced stocks that fraudsters “pump up” (or increase its stock price), by spreading positive but false information. They then quickly “dump” their shares by selling them before the stock price drops, leaving investors without a return.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, many pump and dump schemes have arisen, claiming that their company’s products or services will be used to help prevent, detect or cure the Coronavirus. With promises of high returns, investors buy the microcap stocks, unsuspecting that it’s a fraud.

Investment scams are communicated through a variety of channels: social media, investment newsletters, online adverts, emails or chat-room posts in trading forums.

 

Online retail fraud

Online retail fraud is the most prevalent among the COVID-19 scams. They tend to relate to online sales of products such as protective masks. Scammers know that they’re in short supply and in high demand by those wishing to protect themselves or their loved ones from infection.

A large proportion of the so-called protective masks are either ineffective counterfeits, or they simply don’t exist. In the UK, a buyer reported having lost over £15,000 on a purchase of masks that were never delivered. Other related retail frauds include purported “miracle cures” against the Coronavirus.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), both of which aim to protect human health from comestible products, have stated: “there are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat or prevent COVID-19.”

The FDA and FTC have issued warning letters to seven companies to date for selling “fraudulent COVID-19 products” claiming to prevent or cure the Coronavirus. The offending products include teas, essential oils, tinctures, and colloidal silver.

 

Fundraising scams

Fundraising scams are those that seek donations for philanthropic activities in the prevention, cure or relief of the Coronavirus. They’re run by fake charities that use emotional content to prey on public sympathy for those affected by the epidemic.

Registered charities are vetted in the jurisdiction where they’re set up. However, unsuspecting donors who don’t verify whether the so-called charity is actually registered may still donate money to them, not knowing their money is going to a scammer.

 

Telephone fraud

With every household now having either a landline or mobile phone, fraudsters use these as another tool to capitalize on the Coronavirus to steal money.

Reports have been made of callers posing as medical officials. The impersonator informs the receiver that their relative has fallen sick with COVID-19 and requests payment for medical treatment.

person opening infected email on mobile phone

Door-to-door shoppers

While scams committed in person are less common compared to those online or by telephone, a spike has been reported among the elderly population who are at greater risk of mortality post-infection of COVID-19.

Reports in Suffolk, England, have been made regarding people knocking on the doors of the elderly, claiming to be from the British Red Cross. The impersonators offer grocery shopping at the supermarket in exchange for a fee. The fraudsters claim to further public measures to protect the elderly from infection of the Coronavirus.

Victims have reported that once they have handed over their money for the shopping service offered, the provider is never seen again.

 

Arrest warrant scams

Social distancing measures imposed by many countries to contain the spread of COVID-19 have been used to dupe victims into paying bogus fines.

Reports in Canada have been made by people who receive communications threatening to enforce state laws unless they pay a fine.

The wording of these fraudulent communications is along the lines of: “We saw you outside and you should be in quarantine. Enclosed is a warrant for your arrest. To avoid arrest you must pay a fine of $50.

Scared by the prospect of being arrested or having other legal action taken, many receivers pay the bogus fines demanded from them.

 

How can I avoid a COVID-19 scam?

Follow these six top tips to avoid falling victim to a Coronavirus-related scam.

 

1.    Practice online and telephone safety

Keep your computer security up to date regularly with anti-virus and anti-malware programs. They should be coupled with a robust firewall to prevent any malicious emails from reaching your inbox.

If you suspect a phishing email, dont open it. If you have, refrain from clicking on any links or attachments. Likewise, if you suspect a robocall to your phone from an unknown number, ignore the call. Let it roll into your voicemail to listen to later.

If you don’t recognize the sender of an email, report it as spam or delete it. In the event that you mistakenly enter your username and password into a webpage that you later believe to be a dubious one, change your user login credentials immediately.

 

2.    Investigate who it’s from

You may recognize the sender’s name, particularly if you were expecting contact from them. Nevertheless, it’s good practice to verify their website or email address. For example, emails from the World Health Organization will end in @who.int without any variations. If you do see a variation, such as @who.org – this should raise a red flag. It’s best to investigate further before clicking on any links or responding to the email.

 

3.    Use online verification tools

If the sender claims to be a charity that provides relief for victims affected by the Coronavirus, run it by an online charity verification tool. These will help you check the existence and credentials of registered charities.

If the charity is from the US, you could use Check-A-Charity. If they’re in the UK, you could revert to Charity Search. If the organization is in Australia, use the Charity Register.

This way, you can make sure that your donation will go to those genuinely affected by COVID-19, and not into the back pocket of a fraudster.

 

4.    Don’t rush into paying upfront

The rapid spread of the Coronavirus outbreak is being used by fraudsters to persuade targets into taking immediate action. If the sender of the communication in question insists that you “pay now” or before a specified deadline, this should raise a red flag.

Don’t be pressured into making a payment. Give yourself the time you need to investigate or think it over. Talk about it with a friend to gain some objectivity over the transaction, weighing up the pros and cons before you go through with it.

5.    Check out reviews by others

The best way to predict if you’ll be a happy customer is by finding out if the seller has other happy customers to sing their praises.

Google the name of the person or entity in question, together with the word “reviews.” If no search results turn up, be on your guard. This should prompt you to investigate the sender or the transaction further before you part with your cash.

 

6.    Contact your bank to stop a payment

If you’ve made a payment you’ve subsequently regretted or suspected was a fraud, either online or by phone, call your bank immediately. They may be able to stop the payment before it reaches the recipient.

Even if time has elapsed between the payment and the moment of realization, you should still report it to your bank. They will put in place any necessary steps to get your money back, or they will alert the relevant authorities of the theft.

 

What have we learned?

The spread of COVID-19 has led to a wave of panic that scammers will try to capitalize on. However, you will be better at recognizing what a potential Coronavirus-related fraud looks like, and less likely to fall victim to any of them. From our side, Ria’s data security team works around the clock to ensure your money transfers and data are safe. You can read more about how we mitigate risk here. We’re in this together. Stay safe.

COVID-19: Resources and Tips to See You Through

Over the past few weeks, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has left the entire world living a new reality. With more than 180 countries affected, over 350,000 reported cases, and with a death toll that surpasses 15,000, it is safe to say overcoming this challenge concerns us all.

This global phenomenon is reshaping our society, shining a light on the importance of civic behavior and how individual actions can have a huge impact on the world when we commit to doing something together. This is a time for unity, patience, and resilience, virtues exemplified by millions of migrant workers who overcome impossible challenges on a daily basis. We know, thanks to them, that the human spirit can overcome anything.

While there is already a wealth of information out there, we would like to contribute by offering you some resources and tips to navigate this COVID-19 pandemic. Here, you will also find information regarding our current services so you can continue to send money to your loved ones during this time of need.

man wearing mask leaning out the window

The COVID-19 situation at present

As a global community, we find ourselves in a dynamic situation, where the landscape changes each day.

The good news is first-necessity services have remained available despite the circumstances. These include supermarkets, pharmacies, and money transfer operators*. Although opening hours and accessibility may fluctuate, governments and corporations are doing everything they can to keep these businesses operational. If you’re looking to send money to a loved one, you can find our updated store schedules on Google Maps.

Resources available

With so much information circulating on social media, sometimes it can be difficult to find the most accurate data. As a global referent, the World Health Organization is a good source of information, offering updates on the spread and containment of the virus through its website and social media channels.

Given that the situation is different in each country, it’s best to consult your country’s health ministry portals for local regulations and guidelines. Other governmental channels, including local and national, will also offer information on contingency plans, government aid for those affected, and support hotlines.

Measures we can take in times of COVID-19

little girl washing hands

We know the basics: wash our hands and engage in social distancing. However, there are other measures we can take to look after our mental health and overall wellbeing while in quarantine.

1. Stay in touch with family

If you’re a migrant worker, or simply live in a different city than your loved ones, then you’re already used to finding alternatives for face-to-face contact. However, now you have the chance to make these calls longer, reminisce about childhood memories, try to play games or watch a movie simultaneously. You might even be able to get a hold of those loved ones whose schedules always clashed with yours.

2. Unplug from the news

Although staying informed is important, it’s easy to spiral after spending all day watching all the wrong numbers go up. Instead, designate some moments of the day to checking the news. This way, it will be easier to dedicate your time to activities that make you feel calm.

3. Make the most of free services

In solidarity of those affected by COVID-19, many companies and institutions have been releasing free content or removing paywalls for the next month or so. There’s everything from free online museum tours to courses and certifications. Doing something productive will keep your brain busy, allowing you to take a break from stressing and worrying. Using this time to learn new skills is one way of fostering the right mindset for getting back in the game.

4. Fix things around the house

We all have a list of things we say we’ll get to when our lives finally slow down. It does seem like the time to fix that curtain or that banister is upon us. Crossing items off the list will grant you a sense of accomplishment during these uncertain times.

5. Help your community

By following safety protocols and local regulations, we can help contain the spread and speed up our return to normalcy. Protect yourself and others when visiting pharmacies, grocery stores, or sending money. Keep an appropriate distance, wear masks if ill, and wash your hands before and after your ventures outside. You can also pick up groceries for elderly neighbors or offer emotional support to those who may be feeling scared or overwhelmed.

We remain at your service

Although the spread of COVID-19 poses a global challenge, our customers are always at the heart of everything we do. We are here to reassure you that we will continue offering our services during this trying time. We understand that this is a critical time for you and your family, and we will do all we can to help you support your loved ones through this crisis.

For greater comfort, our digital services: riamoneytransfer.com and our mobile app remain available as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of our stores and agents are open, with some of them operating under restricted schedules. We encourage you to contact your preferred location for updated opening hours or consult Google Maps.

*Applies to most countries.