One good way to get ripped off in a transaction is to agree to wire the other person money. Whether it’s through your bank, money order, or Western Union, wiring money has zero protections against loss. Which is why con artists love it dearly.
Once the money is wired, it’s nearly impossible to reverse or to trace who picked up the money. I think people have a misperception that Western Union, because it’s retail comes in friendly yellow branding, will have some sort of safeguards. Not so. Once that money is picked up, it’s gone.
Transactions where the other person insists on you wiring them money in advance could very well likely be scams. Transactions where the other person insists on you wiring them money in advance and then they’re going to send some back to you for some cockamamie reason are definitely scams.