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Western Union settlement: $586 million in refunds

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You probably know that Western Union runs money transfer services in the US and worldwide. What you might not know is that, according to the FTC, Western Union has known for years that scammers were using its system to commit significant fraud. Even when faced with clear evidence that many of its agents were committing fraud, Western Union kept taking people’s money. Probably billions in fraud-related transfers, sent since January 2004. But today, in a global settlement with the FTC and the US Department of Justice, Western Union agreed to return $586 million to people and create a real and strong anti-fraud program.

So, what kind of evidence was Western Union ignoring? Well, says the FTC, from January 2004 to August 2015, the company got more than 550,000 complaints about money transfers made for fraudulent lottery and prizes, family emergency calls, advance-fee loans, online dating and more. There were its own internal reports, which flagged fraud by some of its own agents, including many international agents that paid out fraud-induced transfers from US consumers. And there were warnings from US and international law enforcement about the fraud. And yet, the money kept rolling on through.

Under the settlement, Western Union will return $586 million through a process to be named later. (Watch this space for more information.) The company will have to train and monitor its agents so that people are protected. It won’t be allowed to transmit a money transfer that it knows – or should know – is a fraud. It has to block money transfers to anyone who has a fraud report, make it easier for people to report fraud, give clear warnings to people who are sending money, and refund a fraud-related money transfer if the company didn’t comply with its own anti-fraud procedures.

If you ever wire money, also keep in mind that it’s illegal for a telemarketer to ask you to pay with a money transfer. That’s right: Illegal. Scammers love using money transfer services because once you send the money, it’s gone forever. So, if a telemarketer asks you to wire money, already you know they’re a crook. Don’t wire the money, and then tell the FTC.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


I was scammed by the western union scam. I was scammed out of $1300. This was my bill money. Is there anyway I can get the money back? If so please help me get it back.

when are they going to pay out its been over a year now jumped thru all hoops still no information on getting money back

The FTC has information about the refunds at The refund administrator, Gilardi & Co, has information at In March 2019, Gilardi & Co. mailed more than 38,000 letters to people whose claims lacked information. Those people were supposed to respond to the letters by June 30, 2019. The FTC, US Department of Justice and Gilardi & Co have not sent out notices about who is eligible for remission. You can check the FTC and Gilardi & Co. websites for updates.

I was scammed through western by three guys saying they were the illuminati they got me for 800 dollar. They contacted through Instagram bobby cark aka kingofallcars and the priest and theboss _tim aka Tim frost. Then i told they was going to kill me if i didnt send additional money. Dont trust them. Then official samoya_beckford. Her Instagram page name say she flip you money and its a government funded program to help people dont mess with these people there are scammers. I'll probably never get my money back. But this is warning for those who dont know and a lesson learned I'll never do anything western union again or online

Back in May 22, 2017, I made a complaint and provided names/phone numbers to Western Union about these people scammed me out of $650 . I asked them could they refund me my money back since they using there company name to scam people out there hard earn money and now just this past Friday August 2, 2019 they scammed my daughter out of $500. There needs to be more strict laws and harsher punishments for this. Will we be able to get our money back. Facebook and Western needs to be held accountable for this .

Hi Bridget Small, I called the WU/Gilardi Claims phone number 1-844-319-2124 and I spoke to woman on 8/1/2019 and she said they are still waiting on Foreigners to send in their paper work and I said the deadline was 6/30/2019 and she said yes it was but they still needed to wait for some of them. I guess I don't understand why they are waiting when it was posted 6/30/2019 final due date, can you explain to me why the Foreigners are able to go past the dead line? I also asked her if she could tell me how much I will be getting back and she told me that they had no amount set because they hadn't received all the papers from everybody and once they did then they will have to go through all of them and that will determine how much we all will recieve. Now is this paperwork that people are saying they have recieved with an amount on it, the actual amount they will be recieving or is it just the amount they lost due to the fraud? Could you please explain all of this because it sounds like their is a lot of confusion going on

Dear Bridgett Small, If you have lost papers from Western Union, you gave them a phone and email address as back up to review receipt or if there receipt disappeared with there eraseable ink. You should be able to reprint copies of receipts or go back to the store you bought it from to get copy of receipts.
File your case any way, state the reason the it is late because of above problems.

What is the update on the Western Union Settlement? You cannot get an answer from anyone at all they just keep saying will take some time. There have been several extensions already and this has been going on for 2 1/2 years now you would think that the Administrator has had ample time to resolve it. Could they be doing this to collect a huge amount in fees? I have tried contacting them and you get no definite answer at all. Time everyone steps up and makes contact asking for their money to be refunded.

I affirm that I am Bernadette the sender of a $2000. Fraud through Western Union back in 2009. I was contacted back in 2017 by Gilardi Remission Administrator indicating that I will recieve my refund in approximately one year. Its now at the end of 2019 and I have not recieved a thing.

I got a message frpm westunipn sayingbi had money there chrckbfor me thanks

As of October 25, 2019, the federal government has not sent refund checks related to the Western Union investigation. If Western Union really sent you a message about a check, it is not because of this investigation.

That message might be real, or it might be a scam.  If they ask for your bank account number or Social Security number before they send the check, that's probably a scam.

I am also a victim of fraud & scam. I spent 100s of thousands of dollars believing in these 2 girls. I have lost everything. I am adding my name to the claim to collect my money back. Thank you & God Bless.

The email I recently received appears to come from a
Western Union Compensation Board Office,
Transfer Agent Location, 3225 Capital Blvd, NC 27604, USA
under the (alleged) manager's name Mr Dennis Levalley. The amount of $15,000,000 is claimed to be offered as compensation to a Fraudulent Claim after the compensation file submitted to the USA Supreme Court, and a fee of $75 is being asked to validate an affidavit required to credit payments. A signed affidavit form and the manager's Western Union Id have been attached to the emailed communication sent to me!

If someone wants you to pay money to get money, it's usually a scam. The email that asks for $75 and "offers" $15,000,000 has the signs of a scam.

The FTC has information about the real Western Union refunds at The website for the company that is managing the refund process is

I am planning a trip to Turkey to film a documentary. I have to get a permit to film there and use a fixer, which is required by law. I sent the fee by Western Union, but thanks to this settlement, WU held the transaction as "fraud" and demanded that I take a refund.

Good evening I filed a claim in 2017 for the $2650.00 that I send threw Western Union , but I have not heard anything from the claim that I file. When will I heard from Western Union about my claim.

Good evening I am inquiring about the claim that I file in 2017 for $2650.00 . I have heard anything since I file the claim. Will I get a letter notify me that I will get a refund

Wendy....Did you ever get your money from Western Union? I noticed that someone posted the link for the settlement about 4 posts b4 yours

please any information when we should expect our refund .

i sended a certify letter to federal trade commission concern these claim and why haven't a check been send out yet. no letter not even on the news. it on the went court awarded ftc the money and i know it take time to sort out the information, but it's going on two and not a word or letter been send i hope and prayer no one been tempted and scam us again. may GOD Bless You and Keep You

I was in a vulnerable position. I had just retired as special needs teacher from Calgary, Alberta. My only child was studying in Vienna. i met someone online and "fell in love." I ended up giving these people over 300,00 between 2016 -2019. I have receipts from Western Union. I have since learned that the money mule and two Nigerian have been recently arrested and are awaiting trial in Singapore, I had reported these scammers both to my banks and local police stations. I was not aware about the refund process until just a couple of days ago!! Why didn't the police inform me? I am sure there are still funds available from the 514 million dollars refunded to victims! I understand that the deadline for application has passed but i refuse to be a further victim of this! In my mother's memory, I am going to fight this$ Please, please - set me in the right direction. Respectfully, Ellen

It is now a year and a half and payouts are no closer to being made for U.S. vs Western Union. Lawyers and those doing the reviews will get all the money that has been set aside. I am tired of waiting.

What happened to the Refund? We haven't received anything. I think by now we should have received the Refund and we haven't. I have emailed the administrator and they don't answer back. I contacted the WH last week because it does concern the government and the people are being lied to. It's been 2 1/2 years.

I agree whole heartedly with you. Enough time has gone by......something is obviously seriously wrong. We, the people, need to find out who and where this money has gone to. It apparently has not gone to the victims who are the subject of this law case.

Has anybody received there money yet? I haven't and theres no way to check the status?????

I have seen no notices of the returns starting yet. Yes, it's been way longer than they stated and I'm angry too!

Are there any updates for 2020 ?
Haven't seen ANY since MARCH 2019.

I filed a claim back in 2017 for a fraudulent wire transfer I made through Western Union. It is February of 2020 and still no response or update.

Fraud is still occurring with western union. I was scammed. I emailed them 3 weeks ago, but haven’t received a response. This settlement needs to be much more as it is still occurring 3 years later.

I called gilardi yesterday, they said they are almost done. But told me it will take about 2 more months to decide when to send our refunds. I hope this is true, atleast we have some idea when they will send the checks.

Thanks for the update buddy. Most useful update we've had in a while. If only the FTC could have taken a minute to post something like that.

Has anyone got there refund yet?

I just want to hear word that they are getting prepared to get us are remissions out soon been waiting a long time I was hoping that they would keep us informed about when they would when I called they said that the justice department was getting them ready to send out and that was over a month ago when I called. Like to know if anyone has received theirs yet there refund in the mail yet? All I got to say is there must have been a lot of people that got scammed. I'm very disappointed in Western Union the only proof I had was the emails I made to the scammer that proves everything on the emails but when I reached out to Western Union they told me they got rid of my information. I had some Western Unions but I had emails I saved good thing I saved they're my only proof of the scam I was in 2 at the time and woke up and all that money was stolen from me I never thought I would be getting it back the money from the Western Union but I'm very disappointed in Western Union telling me they threw my info away the damn good thing I kept my emails cuz it proves everything and I said everything in accosted some money. And this is my was my only hope of ever seen the money that was paid out in this remissions to the scammer I did have a MoneyGram remissions and I got that money back and they were contacting me at that time and I got that back I don't think anybody has anything to worry about I just like to be informed that things are on its way I don't normally trust the United States Postal because some new mail carrier could put it in someone else's mailbox already had that happen someone already stole something that was so important at the time that I never knew it was stolen out of the United States mail box I had but it's a good thing I got the proof of it and I'm fighting that one too.

I sent you the last of the paperwork you requested last April. However, I still haven't received any further communications or reimbursement information from your institution. It would be nice if I could get any type of update on my case. I feel like this is giving people false hope of getting justice from being scammed.

HERE WE GO FELLOS!!!!, just got an email from ftc alert saying that about $153 million are being sent to 109, 000 people for their refunds. this is only the first round of checks being mailed. more refunds will be sent in the coming days or weeks. yahoooo....

Received my check in the mail today!

How does one know if their apart of this settlement? I've sent and received money through western union for many years, can you please explain to me how i know if I've been scammed or if my loved ones was scammed? Thank you very much Sincerely, Sandra Fast

Refund checks worth about $153 million are going out to over 109,000 people who sent money to scammers through Western Union wire transfers. The $153 million is a portion of the money Western Union paid when it reached settlements with the FTC and Department of Justice and agreed to create a strong, anti-fraud program. Western Union also admitted to criminal violations in its settlement with the Department of Justice.

Please pass along A huge THANKS to all those at DOJ, FTC and any others who took up the sword of justice on behalf of the thousands of victims of these soulless scammers who were facilitated by Western Union. Well done! Our family was the victim of a $550 puppy scam and the refund check was a very timely and pleasant surprise.

I see they finally began sending out checks. Problem now is that I moved last year and they will be sending my check to the old address where mail forwarding stops soon. I tried calling to no avail. I sent an email a week ago with no reply to the address given here. What happens if the new home owner gets my check and either trashes it, keeps it, or sends it back?


I was taking fir to 2000 plus on a government grant scan , had to western union the money , yes i got scammed

I have not gotten a dime from this case and I was scammed almost 5 years ago. Filed a claim and never hear anything from it

I am a victim to being scam last week how do I contact a person from Western union

I am a victim to being scam last week how do I contact a person from Western union

. You can call the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492.

in 2011 iwas scammed byd a girl from an online dating and lost thousands by sending her money through Western union what happens to the money ilost if wu knew this was happening Where is my money


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