Why You Should Always Confirm Money Requests Verbally

Lynn Corthell |

Have you ever received an email or a text message from someone asking you to send them money urgently? Maybe it was your boss, your colleague, your friend, or your family member. Maybe they said they had an emergency, a problem, or an opportunity that required your immediate help. Maybe they sounded convincing, polite, or desperate.

But how do you know if the request is legitimate or not? How do you avoid falling victim to a scam, a fraud, or a mistake? The answer is simple: always confirm money requests verbally.

What is a verbal confirmation?

A verbal confirmation is a phone call or a face-to-face conversation where you verify the identity and the intention of the person who is asking you for money. It is a way to make sure that you are dealing with the real person, not an impostor, a hacker, or a thief.

A verbal confirmation can help you:

  • Uncover and overcome any reservations or doubts you may have about the request

  • Allow you to express what is important to you and negotiate for the best possible terms and conditions

  • Give both parties a chance to ask and answer questions and clarify any details or misunderstandings

How do you do a verbal confirmation?

Here are some steps to follow when you receive a money request via email or text:

  • Do not reply to the email or text message. Instead, call the person directly using a known and trusted phone number.

  • If you can’t reach them by phone, try to meet them in person or use a video call service like Skype or Zoom.

  • If you are not sure who the person is, ask them to provide some proof of their identity, such as a photo ID, a password, or answer a security question.

  • If the person claims to be someone you know, ask them some personal questions that only they would know, such as their birthday, their pet’s name, or their favorite movie.

  • If the person claims to be from a company or an organization, ask them to provide some evidence of their affiliation, such as a website, a logo, or a letterhead. Again, make sure you are calling them back using a known number.

  • If the person claims to have an emergency, a problem, or an opportunity, ask them to explain the situation in detail and provide some supporting documents, such as a bill, a receipt, or a contract.

  • If the person asks you to send money through a specific method, such as a wire transfer, a prepaid card, or a cryptocurrency, take the request as a red flag. This very well could be a fraudster you are dealing with.

  • If the person pressures you to act quickly, to keep the request secret, or to avoid contacting anyone else, be suspicious and cautious. These are common signs of a scam.

  • If you are still unsure or uncomfortable about the request, do not send any money. Instead, seek advice from someone you trust, such as a friend, a family member, or a professional.

Benefits of verbal confirmation

Verbal confirmation can help you protect yourself and your money from various risks, such as:

  • Business email compromise (BEC): This is a type of scam where criminals impersonate a legitimate person or entity, such as your boss, your colleague, your client, or your vendor, and ask you to send money for a fake or inflated invoice, a payroll change, a tax refund, or a donation.

  • Phishing: This is a type of scam where criminals send you an email or a text message that looks like it comes from a reputable source, such as your bank, your credit card company, your utility provider, or your government agency, and ask you to click on a link, open an attachment, or provide your personal or financial information.

  • Vishing: This is a type of scam where criminals call you and pretend to be someone else, such as a tech support agent, a law enforcement officer, or a lottery official, and ask you to pay a fee, a fine, or a ransom, or to verify your account details.

  • Spoofing: This is a type of scam where criminals use technology to disguise their phone number, email address, or website, and make it appear as if they are someone else, such as your friend, your family member, or your coworker, and ask you to send money for a personal or professional reason.

By confirming money requests verbally, you can avoid these and other scams, and save yourself from losing money, compromising your security, and damaging your reputation.


Money requests are common and sometimes necessary, but they can also be risky and deceptive. That’s why you should always confirm them verbally before sending any money. A verbal confirmation can help you verify the authenticity and the validity of the request and ensure that you are making a smart and safe decision. Remember, if you are not sure, do not send any money. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Lynn Corthell, IACCP®, Chief Compliance Officer



The author generated this text in part with Copilot in Windows, an AI assistant. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.