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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

Comments

I was scammed out about $45,000 with a short point of time. How doi file a claim. It went to NigeriaNew

The Department of Justice is developing a refund process, and we will post more information when we have it.

Meanwhile, if you used Western Union to send money to a scammer, you can report it to Western Union’s complaint department at 1-800-448-1492 or online.

Make a note of the date you filed the complaint with Western Union. Be sure to keep any documents you have about the scam and the money transfer.

They had called my house telling me that they were from the education grant department and that they had a check in the amount of $10,000 but in order to receive it I had to make a payment of $250,00 and to send it from Western Union and I will receive my money.got me good and just two days ago I remember that voice just like it was yesterday them African or Nigerian speaking language that I will never forget try it again but for a Student Loan and wrote down there phone number name and time but when they return the call to me it was unknown and after that I tried to call the two numbers that I did have and it said that this person is not available to receive calls at this time.. But they hung up on me this time because he couldn't keep up with the lie they had called about.

Men claiming to be working for Microsoft said my computer was causing viruses on the system. They said they would fix it for me. Yes, they sure did. Some of, maybe all, the money that went via Western Union ended up in, you guessed it, Nigeria.

I did 2 transfers back in 2013, overseas to what I thought was a legitimate work from home job and it wasn't. They stole the company's website. Can i get that money back?

The Department of Justice is developing a refund process, and we will post more information when we have it.

Meanwhile, if you used Western Union to send money to a scammer, you can report it to Western Union’s complaint department at 1-800-448-1492 or online.

Make a note of the date you filed the complaint with Western Union. Be sure to keep any documents you have about the scam and the money transfer.

When will this occur I lost more than 2000 with this so when am I expected to see about something like this

I'm so glad they got caught and shame on western union for allowing them to do this.

I was scammed of $1500.00. I was so embarrassed. It was for friendship online. How stupid was I?

I have been scammed for over 2 years for 60,000. Thought I was doing the right thing by helping someone. I am embarrassed as well!!!!

I was scammed for 6 months by someone I thought was in army 15,000 how do I file this claim

The Department of Justice is developing a refund process, and we will post more information when we have it.

Meanwhile, if you used Western Union to send money to a scammer, you can report it to Western Union’s complaint department at 1-800-448-1492 or online.

Make a note of the date you filed the complaint with Western Union. Be sure to keep any documents you have about the scam and the money transfer.

I was scammed for over 3 yrs by someone on line from OKCupid. I too feel your shame. I reported this to romance scams as well. I lost in six digits over 150k am just as embarrassed even more so than you. I feel so stupid but hopefully we will get our money back. anything will help since I lost it all. Shame these scammers don't get sentenced wonder who they will ever pay.

I am so glad we have an agency like this one that can scare away these unloving malicious people who have made life difficult for others. I was also victim as well scam identity theft in September 2016. My life have not been the same. FTC your agency are doing a great job getting this madness under control. Thank you with many more thanks.

I am a victim of this Western Union Scam. What do I need to do to make a claim?

The Department of Justice is developing a refund process, and we will post more information when we have it.

Meanwhile, if you used Western Union to send money to a scammer, you can report it to Western Union’s complaint department at 1-800-448-1492 or online.

Make a note of the date you filed the complaint with Western Union. Be sure to keep any documents you have about the scam and the money transfer.

Did the FTC develop the website yet for the refund process. I have all my paperwork. Even the proof I filed with western union fraud unit.

The Department of Justice is developing a refund process, and the FTC will post more information when we have it.

Was scammed several years ago out of $500 dollars! Hard lesson to learn! Hopefully can get it back one day!

They had called my house telling me that they were from the education grant department and that they had a check in the amount of $10,000 but in order to receive it I had to make a payment of $250,00 and to send it from Western Union and I will receive my money.got me good and just two days ago I remember that voice just like it was yesterday them African or Nigerian speaking language that I will never forget try it again but for a Student Loan and wrote down there phone number name and time but when they return the call to me it was unknown and after that I tried to call the two numbers that I did have and it said that this person is not available to receive calls at this time.. But they hung up on me this time because he couldn't keep up with the lie they had called about.

How do I file a claim?

The Department of Justice is developing a refund process, and we will post more information when we have it.

Meanwhile, if you used Western Union to send money to a scammer, you can report it to Western Union’s complaint department at 1-800-448-1492 or online.

Make a note of the date you filed the complaint with Western Union. Be sure to keep any documents you have about the scam and the money transfer.

I wish to make a fraud claim. I have lost close to $5-6000 over a matter of a year. I had my Identity stolen, and caught up in some of these fraud cases. Like asking for money when a loan was approved, a lottery that I was told I won, but because it was a lg. amt. of money I had to send money to protect it. Very hard lessons to learn and a lot of money lost.

I have seno this message several times. I was scammed by someone on match.Com for 27k. My son just had a hunch, went to malescammers. and there he was with many aliases and many pictures. I knew him Mark Revel Wheeler. Most of his aliases are last name Lopez with different first names. My son also tracked one of his emails to africa. I took this money out of my retirement fund, all I had. I cannot afford to pay taxes and penalties on this kind of money. Please help.

Wow! I hope I get some of my money back. Even a portion would be fantastic! I hope they catch all those jerks and..,.... Well that's not too be discussed publicly. KARMA FINALLY TAKING OVER!!!

I was scammed for 10,000 for a 150,000 in return from free grant money....

How or where do I file a claim?

The Department of Justice is developing a refund process, and we will post more information when we have it.

Meanwhile, if you used Western Union to send money to a scammer, you can report it to Western Union’s complaint department at 1-800-448-1492 or online.

Make a note of the date you filed the complaint with Western Union. Be sure to keep any documents you have about the scam and the money transfer.

well, I was a victim of online romance scam between 3007 to 2010. but western union and moneygram only attempted me to stop sending money to lagos, nigeria during the last few months in 2010. though I ignored. Lost 80,000.

Dies this have anything to do with Lumosity...I paid for 4 years and find out it was false....They got sued and i was reading the claim and it ssid they hsd to pay a a fine and reimburse everyone.?????

My wife was a victim of a scam artist calling about our grandson being held on a drunken driving charge and it would take money wired thru WU immediately to get him off. Who do contact in the FTC to refile a nitce we gave the FTC 2 years ago.

The Department of Justice is developing a refund process, and we will post more information when we have it.

Meanwhile, if you used Western Union to send money to a scammer, you can report it to Western Union’s complaint department at 1-800-448-1492 or online.

Make a note of the date you filed the complaint with Western Union. Be sure to keep any documents you have about the scam and the money transfer.

How do i go about getting my money back ?

I too was a victim of fraud by a man on a dating site for quite a large sum of money

I have been scammed for several years for transactions to Nigeria AL and Texas. Never received anything but request for more money. Yes patiently waiting on more details of regaining benefits.

The Department of Justice is developing a refund process, and we will post more information when we have it.

Meanwhile, if you used Western Union to send money to a scammer, you can report it to Western Union’s complaint department at 1-800-448-1492 or online.

Make a note of the date you filed the complaint with Western Union. Be sure to keep any documents you have about the scam and the money transfer.

How do I now if I am a victim of this and should be compensated? I have used WU for may years and still do

Back in 1996 was scamed out of 15,000 for what was supposed to be a Venture Capital Loan. Made two trips to London and the last trip they wanted another $4000. Instead of taking the money I wired it to the bank of London. Met wit the so called loan company which was some one I had not talked to and finally had to fight my way out of a basement office. Thank God I had my Daughter and son in law with me. Still had my money just lost the $15,000. I have also sent money for lottery scams and to Diplomats which there are three of them on my computer wantin me to send money. How do I sign up.

I wired money to get a gift to an army sergeant I thought was real on Match.com his fake name was David Manson, the scam was that the gift was being held in customs in Guam.

As do I. I sent a payment to a fraudster once. I am owed about $100.00. How can I get in on this case?

The Department of Justice is developing a refund process, and we will post more information when we have it.

Meanwhile, if you used Western Union to send money to a scammer, you can report it to Western Union’s complaint department at 1-800-448-1492 or online.

Make a note of the date you filed the complaint with Western Union. Be sure to keep any documents you have about the scam and the money transfer.

I have been scammed out of 5000 western union I did not know when I took CHECK to them to cash that it was fake western union made me paid it back they knew the CHECK was fake they did not tell me nothing but threat me about filing charges how can I file a complaint

I would like more information about this

on my money the is luse long time

I've been dealing with western union for several years and have been scammed sending money to Colombia. The money had several losses of money. The other is I had money lost then recuperated that took more than two months to recover. I did not get my fee back at all.

I used Western Union 2x within 2 years. 1 in 2014 and once in 2016. How does one go about filing a claim for the money that I threw out the window? I feel like such a fool for believing anyone that said they would send me something, but I had to pay for it first! I will be awaiting more news.

The Department of Justice is developing a refund process, and we will post more information when we have it.

Meanwhile, if you used Western Union to send money to a scammer, you can report it to Western Union’s complaint department at 1-800-448-1492 or online.

Make a note of the date you filed the complaint with Western Union. Be sure to keep any documents you have about the scam and the money transfer.

I ALSO WAS SCAMMED BY 2 PEOPLE CLAIMING TO BE WITH MICROSOFT WHO TOLD ME "ATTACKERS" HAD GOTTEN INTO MY COMPUTER AND THEY NEEDED TO GO IN AND FIX IT. I AM OUT ABOUT 500.00 PLUS 250 FROM ANOTHER AGENT CLAIMING TO BE WITH MICROSOFT. I WOULD LIKE TO WRITE MICROSFOT AS WELL, BUT DON;T KNOW WHERE TO START. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

Great work everyone. This site is so valuable. It is a shame many who need this information are not online. It all begins with the victims lack of information to be enticed.

Yea one time I was scam on a loan and a iindia speaking guy said alli I had to do for the $5000 loan was send was the first payment western union by buying a prepaid card of $250.well I did it never heard or got my money still can't get ahold of him he disappeared

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