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Wire Transfer by Mistake: What now?

I make the mistake of doing an international wire transfer three days ago to a bank in Guatemala. I called my bank the next day to try to reverse the transfer, but it appears that I was too late. Not only this, but the company that I transferred the money to is not showing the money in my account.

Is there any authority or oversight company that I can contact who may be able to help me get my funds back? It was $2000, which is a lot of money to me right now, so I'd really like to get it back.


It is the nature of wire transfers that they are final. That is why care must be taken in investigating and knowing the party to which you are considering wiring funds before issuing wire instructions. In very rare cases, the bank that is named as the beneficiary's bank may cooperate with the sending bank to postpone crediting the named beneficiary, and rarer yet, return the funds. The fact is that the named beneficiary ordinarily has the law on its side once funds are credited to the designated account, regardless of which country in which the beneficiary's bank is located.

If you believe you were defrauded, you may consider contacting the FBI. However, you really don't stand much chance of recovering the funds.

Published on 12/15/09