If you notice you entered the wrong account number for a wire transfer in the processing or pending stage, you may be able to stop the transfer or make the necessary changes. If the bank account number or routing number is entered incorrectly, the transaction will likely be rejected. In a case where the number you provided matches someone's else's bank account, the receiving bank may reject the transaction. However, if money is wired to the wrong account and not rejected, you can encounter problems.
Reversing the Transfer
Although this is uncommon, wire transfers may be deposited into the wrong account. Once the money is in the person's account, it cannot be accessed by your bank or the receiving bank. Wire transfers cannot be reversed. Wire transfer companies and banks typically address the sender's liability for entering incorrect account information. Unless the bank made the error, there is little that the transferring agency will do to retrieve your money.
Wire Transfer Company Policies
Western Union urges customers wiring money to make sure the account number and other information is correct before sending. According to Western Union's terms and conditions, if the account number is incorrect, money may be credited to the wrong account and not able to be recovered. Xoom guarantees that the money you wire will be deposited into the account that matches the bank details you provide. It warns customers that some receiving banks will not check to verify that the name on the account matches the account number. Other banks refuse to accept funds unless the name listed on the transfer matches the account holder's name exactly.
Bank Wire Transfer Policies
Options for Recovery
Although you may not be able to reverse the wire transfer, the recipient does not have a right to keep the money. The bank can track down the account holder and may contact him on your behalf and request he return the funds. However, if the account holder cannot be reached and the funds are no longer available, you may not be able to recover the money. You may have to contact an attorney to discuss options, such as personal lawsuit to retrieve your money.