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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

My husband was scammed September, 2016, by promises of a lottery won, they claimed mega millions . He would like to file a claim, as he was requested by scammers, as we now realize,to use the Western Union system

My parents were also a victim of grandparent scam. Scam people called my dad and said his nephew was in jail for drunk driving. He ended up sending 22K total to a bank in Mexico. It was all they had in their savings.

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.

Western Union is still doing this... I was scammed in 2016 and tried to report it as fraud to Western Union and they never sent the email like they said they would. I think I have been a victim of scams at other times as well.

I was scammed for $4,000. I used to be a secret buyer so when I got information in the mail and a check to deposited into my account with me sending them $1800. the rest to be for expenses and payment for doing the job. I was done on my luck getting evicted lst job i thought this was a godsend. I cashed the check, western union them the money which i found ou was in Canada, well you know the story now of course it bounced and i had to pay the bank and file a police report. I would love to be kept informed on this, i need my money

I was a victim of a fraud through Western Union too, based on a refund for services I paid for 6 months prior. That was probably a fraud too! I painfully went through the procedure of notifying my local law enforcement, reporting it to the FTC, and I file a complaint with Western Union security office. Hopefully my name is on file with them and they will refund the monies I was taken for. I hope all of you get your money back, and without a huge hassel.

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 out of almost 15,000 ,a Nigeria, filed police report

I was scammed from A person out in Nigeria claiming l was a beneficiary of 7M..but cost me at least 15k..lawyers fees and other lies..whole year of 2015.,

2007 scammed Western Union as a loan still have all my Western Union slips were loss as a scam. Definitely a learning experience about being scammed and teaches you to steer clear in the future, would definitely be interested in getting back what we lost.

Thia fraud has gone a long time. I have file full of emails and phone calls that I fell for one and lost some money. How do I claim my money back? I am still getting emails from Nigera. I have been getting this stuff over 10 years. HELP

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 do I receive compensation

I have been victimized as well, when/where can I file a complaint.

I was scam for a health & healing doctor had me to wire him money

i was defruad out of a 1000 dollars dealing with this money transfer scam ,they are using the mystery shopping system to scam people..They will send you a postal money order just under a 1000 and ask you to put it in your bank account!Bad move dont do it!

I was told I won 5 million (PCH) and I just had to pay a fee because it was coming from another state...never sent the money but they got all my personal info...feel played

i am a victim of the get out of jail western union scam how do i get refund or apply for one

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've used western union several times to, so hve many of my family members. I was actually stopped by my bank over the past year with a scam/fraud that I almost fell for, like I've done twice before but different circumstances than this last time, which was for a rental home in the area. They wanted me to send them all my information: full name, address, phone # , my place of work n their contact information , my Social security number as well as those whom wld be living in the house with me, which is my kids who are not even older than ten years of age, srry u don't need their social # they aren't even old enough to work or pay bills. When I refused they got upset n said they wld give me the first two months free, besides the utilities, for two hundred less than the $1200 they were asking to begin with. I refused again and got off the phone with them. I was then harassed by them for two weeks through my email (2 a day) as well as phone calls daily (like 6xs a day). Finally I got fully fed up with it all and really looked them up with the info they had given me over the past few weeks of bothering me n since the first time we had spoken, next I not only reported them but I also called the actual person whom was selling the home or looking for a renter and told them as well. In which they thanked me and directed me to someone whom could help me find a place for my family. Thankfully they stopped calling me once I told them they were a fraud n fake. Along with a liar. Since I had been open from the get go about being a single mother and I was in need of a home asap, please no scams/fraud and they promised they weren't. That they are legitimate people that do own the home and are just trying to get a renter or renters in the home, due to the fact their daughter fell ill and they're going to be staying with her from now on in Maine. Never stated where at in maine, and the only number they gave was faulty. I wasn't able to call them or text, just send money thru western union to them n they would therefore send me the keys n all the rental paperwork for me to have, so I could know they weren't lying but whenever asked to be able to view the home before agreeing to anything they avoided the question several times. Until I finally exposed them to them on the phone. Then they said that they would be in town in a week and I could meet them then, as well as view the home and go over the paperwork for the rental agreement with me in person. So I told them to call me when they got into town and at the house, and much to my suprise (lol. Not really tho) I never received a call or email from them during the time they said they'd be in town and able to show the home n meet person to person. Previous times of being scammed they got me good and messed with my credit score as well. I'm still trying to makeup for what I've lost over the past years with being scammed and dealing with fraud on my actual credit that I'm unable to get anything resolved with due to the person getting away with it and me being left to try and make the best out of what I'm able to do for my family. I doubt I'll get anything returned to me, but I'm glad they have been caught and now some people will get some of what they have lost or been taken away from them back... Hopefully western union will be able to keep their word and make sure that we aren't being scammed or playing a part in their frauds...

I was scammed they said the were with the government and had a loan for me. Didn't I feel dumb when that fell through

I have been victimized also, where can this be documented. Thankful to see this.

I have been ripped off by the Western Union a number of time and would like to have my money returned to me

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.

Yes, I have been scammed by phone from a FAKE financial institution, who called me, telling me that I had applied for a $1500.00 loan, and that I had been approved and they wanted me to prove to them that I was trustworthy to payback the loan by paying the three months payments upfront, before getting the loan, since I did not have any collecteral.

I even asked them if I was being SCAMMED and of course they told me what I wanted to hear, "NO!!!!"

She asked for my home and personal email address to email me my BANK DOCUMENTS.

After they sent me my BANK DOCUMENTS, I went online and filled them out and signed the documents and sent it back to them.

They said, they did not want my bank information but to go to Western Union and do a wire transfer in the amount of $500.00, according to their strict instructions, which I did.

After I had made the wire transfer of $500.00, plus the fee charge, they called me, telling me that they needed more money.

Eventually, I picked up that it was a SCAMMED!

So, I told the lady on the phone that I wanted to decline their loan offer.

I told the lady that I wanted my money to be returned back to me and she told me that I will receive my $500.00 in 7 days.

And it has been 10 months, and I have not received my $500.00.

After my numerous attempts of calling her office, she NEVER PICKS UP THE PHONE!!!!

THIS IS DEFINITELY A CLEAR SIGN THAT I HAVE BEEN SCAMMED BY A FAKE FINANCIAL INSTITUTION, CALLING ME, TELLING ME THAT I HAVE BEEN APPROVED FOR A $1500.00 LOAN.

I continue to receive phone calls of this nature, and emails and text message, but what I have learned the hard way is, "I NEVER REPLY BACK, AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED, IT IS ALL A FAKE!!!!!!!

Yes, it hurts to loose my hard, tax earned money, as I live paycheck to paycheck and $500.00 may NOT be a lot of money to everyone, but it's a lot of money to be, and it is definitely NOT TAX FREE!!!!

AS IT IS ALL TAX FREE TO SCAMMERS!!!!!!!!!

How can I know I qualify?

I too was scam and used western union for a payment to some one in other sate for a so call sweepstakes winner or so it was around 2005 or 2006 had to pay taxes before getting actual check. etc

I was a victim back in 2009 i send two payments for an advance $7000 loan and i got scammed. I have all the paperwork including the western union receipt and plus a police report. how can i put a claim for this.

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 in July, 2016. I have all my detailed information. I would like to 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.

Yes, I would like to file a complaint!!!!

I have all my Moneygrams and Western Union Receipts and the Bank Documents which after what I know now, and did not know then that they are all fake documents, as well as the phone number that the lady called and communicated with me and giving me strict instructions how to go about sending her my Western Union Money Wire Transfer.

If you lost money to a scammer between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017 and you paid by Western Union, you can file a claim to get money back. You must file a claim by May 31, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process.

i was fraud i think on 2015 December for about 4000 dollars i make the report with western union and the report with the local police do i will take my money back?????

No one has mentioned how you ACTUALLY go about filing a claim against Western Union to receive a return. Where is the paperwork to file claim?

Have a learning disabled daughter who sent ten of thousands to Nigerians faking as US Soldiers through Western Union.
How do we file a claim?

I had a similar thing where you send money to get money! lost 1500.00, that was in 2007!

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.

Yes, I lost $500.00. Then I was told by a friend, that you NEVER SEND MONEY TO BORROW MONEY FROM ANY FINANCIAL INSTITUTION!!!! HARD LIFE LESSON LEARNED THT I WILL NEVER FORGET!!!!!

I was scammed out of $2500 and still owe the bank $1000. I filed a report with the FBI and I have the paperwork from the scammer. I need to file a claim.

My mom needs to file a claim for this. How do we file the claim? We still have all the documentation and everything to prove it.

I sincerely hope that Green Dot / MoneyPak is next.

They are guilty of exactly the same willful ignorance that they facilitate fraud.

I am a victim of money scam. How do I get my 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.

I lost a lot of money too on these people too about 2200.00 dallors or more

I was also a victim. How can I apply or qualify to put in a claim?

I absolutely need to file a claim please. How? Was scammed bad. Thank you.

We wound up having to declare bankruptcy after my husband was taken through these people in Nigeria. With the money he owed and fees from their lawyer it was up to $15,000. We had no choice as we couldn't afford to pay the banks lawyer. I get emails all the time from these people.

I, too, was scammed from some African con artist who posed as a white army soldier on an online dating website. Lost $100.00 and never heard back from him. How do we get our money back? Your article didn't instruct us how to get compensated.

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.

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