I want to send a small monetary surprise gift to my friend overseas. But I don't want my friend to be able to know that I am in the U.S.; I don't want my friend to know where I am right now.

Is there any service that can do that ? Like Western Union or whatever. I need to send $500.

  • Depending on which country and how much technology savy you and your friends, PayPal can be option. Even prefunded gift cards or store cards – Dheer Oct 25 '15 at 17:13
  • my friend is in germany. he is NOT tech savvy, he's quite the opposite. – Hillary C Oct 25 '15 at 22:16

Usually services like Western Union or MoneyGram only give the recipient the money, not the information about who and when sent it. But you can verify with them directly.

However, for legal/tax reasons, your friend might have to declare that it was a gift, and where it came from. So depending on the country of the destination you might not be able to completely "hide" from the recipient, even if the transfer service technically allows that.

In any case, when you transfer the money out from the US you'll have to provide your personal identification and information. Since the USA PATRIOT Act, it is impossible to transact "anonymously" (not sure if it ever was possible in the US, actually).

  • If you user a FX currency exchange service, the money typically goes through an intermediate bank and arrives in the recipient's account without a clear indication of who sent it. – Eric Oct 27 '15 at 12:30

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