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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

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.

yes i would like to put in a complaint as i did before--that is just some money that those crooks don't deserve, and stole from the rightful owner.i see in this case who is right and whose wrong.and you are not the grant solutions as you said.///and i worked for my money not steal.sincerely

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 has intentionally given me the run around with a serious claim of fraud and stolen money order. I would like to be included in this lawsuit.

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.

Unfortunately I was a victim of fraud as well, and Wells Fargo sent me on a wild goose chase to try and report it to the FCC, and FBI, giving me numbers for both and telling me to file a police report. The company did not make me whole, and my money was gone. Despite my best judgement I had assumed a cashiers check was always legitimate, and fell for an overpayment from a buyer and had wired the money through western union. When they told me they had information where the money was picked up and what time, and a video surveillance, they refused to provide any of this evidence for my report to the local police in the other state it was in. I would like to file a claim once this has a class action lawsuit against them. I lost $1,850.00 of my own money to someone because they could not help provide me with the evidence of who the perpetrator was to authorities, nor would they make me whole again after being referred to a specific separate line purely for theft/scams/fraud.

So if you've been scammed through Western Union, what do you needs to do to get your money back? The scammers told me to send 5000$ to a place in China. You'd think their agents would be able to tell you if there's no such place in their network. But they didn't & God only knows where the money ended up. I ended up owing the bank for the 5000$.

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 treaked by a scammers, that I was the lucky winner of U K lottery. I was scammed. I was sending the money by Western Union thinking, that I am sending for taxes as I was told, The man that got my money was in the U.K. -----MICK JOHNSON - GOT FROM ME $ 8000 ALL TOGHTER. I was sooooo dumn!!!1 Belived him, after he sent me the lotto # that I played. I called FBI and police in the U.K. and many more places, but was told, that I will NOT get the money back!

I had sent money more than once, they said that I the first amount wasn't enough so I had to pay even more fees and then after that I didn't receive anything. I would like to know how to file a claim. I also ended up in jail in connection with all of this because they started a "work from home" thing and the checks were fraudulent and I wasn't aware of it. I had the checks sitting in my account, didn't send money anywhere but was arrested for forgery and got to sit in jail. All over doing a Money Transfer through Western Union so now I'm afraid to use it even for my bills.

I also reported fraud back in 2009, I have all the proof but I cant find the MTCN number, how can i get notified of the refund process?

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 victim of a scam in June of 2006 thru November of 2006 I need know where to send for information I still have copies all the mtcn number and the actual transfers and the people's names involved

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.

A man posing to be a federal agent working on giving Government Grants. Broke in to my girl friends Facebook account and let me believe that she was successfully in getting a Government Grant and I should apply. She gave me his name so I could apply. Because I know her and worked with her for years I believed what she told me, not knowing it was the scammer using her Facebook page. I filled out the form and waited. I was told that I would have to pay the tax on the grant before I could get the money from the grant. I sent a message to my friend to ask her if she had to pay the taxes not knowing he was the one that would be answering me. Oh yes he answered me back so I thought it was legit so I sent the money. 12,000 dollars and later I found out the truth. I made a police report and later after I stop responding to him he sent me a e- mail posing as the FBI and I was going to get arrested for supporting Issis. I call the police and filed a complaint with the FBI but I haven't heard anything to date.

I have been scammed recently, online dating scammed and still trying to figure out how to pay my loans because of this scammer who I thought was a British widowed man but recently found out that he was a Nigerian pretending to be someone else. Already filed my complaint to UK anti fraud and still waiting for the result. And used Western Union to transfer money to him. How to qualify for 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 have been scam very badley and I need help to claim the money I lost can I get help from somebody, please.

The Department of Justice is developing a refund process related to this case, so Western Union can return $586 million to people. The FTC will post more information about that process when we have it.

There is something you can do now. 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.

When you file the complaint with Western Union, make a note of the date you file. Keep all the documents you have about the scam and the money transfer.

I too have been scammed via Western Union money transfer and each person stated that they work for WU in capacities higher than customer service I have filed fraud reports with WU the FTC and my local police department as well as the local police department in the areas where the funds were claimed and picked up. I have all of the necessary paperwork and would like to be included in this refund initiative. Thank you for posting this information and I hope to hear from you soon about how to receive my claim.

Would like to claim my money

I been scammed out of more than 2000 dollars for money flips and different scams I still waiting on a response about this

I have been scammed also what do I need to do carolyn

IF ONE DOESN'T REPLY OR RESPOND TO ANY OF THESE SCAMMERS ADVERTISEMENTS. THEN YOU WON'T GET SCAMMED...

My mom was scammed out of $5000. We filed reports with the local police department, made fraud claim to Western Union, and filed a complaint with the TX Attorney General's office. I have copies of her Western Union receipt and a copy of the complaint filed with the TX AG's office. What else do we need to do?

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

To get news about the Western Union settlement, you could subscribe to get email from the FTC when we publish new blogs. Go to the subscribe page, and check the boxes for:

  • "Consumer Updates: Money & Credit" and
  • "Scam Alerts"

Or, bookmark the Consumer Center Blog, and check back here periodically.

Omg..I got scammed two times..western union jus awesome..I wish western union can take the responsibility and gives refund..is jus not safe

Was scammed for $58,000 since 2013 and as a result ended in ID theft and Check fraud. Have all western union money transfer receipts, and Made several complaints to Western Union and filed a report with the local police department. I wish Western Union would have taken responsibility sooner to protect Consumers.I just hope whatever money I could recover I'll be grateful.

I was scammed out of nearly $10000 aud Over two years

The Department of Justice is developing a refund process related to this case, so Western Union can return $586 million to people.

The FTC will post more information about that process when we have it.

There is something you can do now. 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.

When you file the complaint with Western Union, make a note of the date you file. Keep all the documents you have about the scam and the money transfer.

Hello!! I was one of the victim of scammed. I was scammed for $750 this day and i dont know how to refund it.. What should i do? Plese help me!!!! I still have all the transaction! Im just a student! Im crying so hard.. Please help me

The US Department of Justice is going to handle the process of getting money back to people, after it finishes more work on the case. The FTC has more information.

For now, if you have paperwork related to your money transfers, keep it. You might need it later for the the claims process. You can sign up for email updates (link is external) to be sure you are notified about the claims process.

April 3 2017 I was a victim of a scam! I applied for a online loan for $20,000 they said i need to send $720 for down payment to secure the loan and then another $1,600 to pay the tax's through western union so I did then when i contacted them they said they made a mistake on their end and I would have to send another $1,600 thats when I realized somethings not rite! plz help get my money back

The US Department of Justice is going to handle the process of getting money back to people, after it finishes more work on the case. The FTC has more information.

For now, if you have paperwork related to your money transfers, keep it. You might need it later for the the claims process. You can sign up for email updates (link is external) to be sure you are notified about the claims process.

I was a victim of a scam relating to grant offered by the federal government in which I had to purchase an itune card for $200.00 for remittance of the funds through western union. I reported the matter to itunes but without any positive response and me ending with a loss of $200.00 . What should I do?

The US Department of Justice is going to handle the process of getting money back to people, after it finishes more work on the case. The FTC has more information.

For now, if you have paperwork related to your money transfers, keep it. You might need it later for the the claims process. You can sign up for email updates (link is external) to be sure you are notified about the claims process.

How do I file a claim?

The US Department of Justice is going to handle the process of getting money back to people, after it finishes more work on the case.

The FTC has more information about what will happen.

For now, if you have paperwork related to your money transfers, keep it. You might need it later for the the claims process. You can sign up for email updates (link is external) to be sure you are notified about the claims process.

what for we have the evidence but when doing so someone from the western union complaint department had transfer me to an agent from the CFTC and all she said that the law suit of $585 million dollars that came from the western union and agent that was corrupt can get in if it happen in 2004 to 2012

and I told that women agent I gust got an email which I am a subscriber with them and had received in my email April 4 2017. So I click on that page to further my complain and to get compensated for going through the western union that had scammed me in 2015 . Only to find out that our US government or agent in the CFTC are corrupt and will of course re-route us in saying it only works in the year of 2004-2012. For christ sake this is 2017 federal agent of America.

I was scammed out of thousands of dollars by a man in Nigeria. He said his name was Osborn Taylor. I lost my retirement because of him. I feel stupid for believing his lies.

My scammer from Nigeria fell in love with me. I sent him money, I reported problems to western union, but they did not care. I was being stalked by the scammer on every site I went too. First he was my friend on myspace. Then he started onto yahoo messenger, he got my identity ordered a ring offline with my name on it. And everywhere I tried to get help no one knew what to do! I help no one now online, their is no secure way to even know whom you are actually talking too. So it's best to don't engage.

I am one of the victims of this fraud with western Union.I have my original receipts. I wait for more assistance. have a nice day. Cordially lawrence

I keep trying to report a fraud claim and it keeps telling me Im entering the wrong captcha. And I"m not. This is crazy. I wish to file a claim I've been scammed.

You can report a scam to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database

mY STORY IS TO LONG TO TYPY HERE. I WANT TO GET IN ON THIS REFUND I AM OWED $ 3000.

The US Department of Justice is going to handle the process of getting money back to people, after it finishes more work on the case. The FTC has more information.

For now, if you have paperwork related to your money transfers, keep it. You might need it later for the the claims process. You can sign up for email updates (link is external) to be sure you are notified about the claims process.

Last October we found an out I'd state service dog agency. First charge was only $25 to register her in our name. The next week when she was supposed to be delivered from VA to MD, we were required to ibtasin a 'refundable' pet delivery insurance policy cy and vet clearance exam of $700.stupid us paid it. No dog vappeared. I've kept ever msg and email, and filed a police report and have attempted to get WU to provide me with the recipient's name and address to file a small claim court to get the money back, since someone had to pick it uip in person. Betcha iuf thery were going down for $800 losses and maybe punitive damages theyll turn real quick. No luck as of yet.

I and my husband were just scammed by Western Union Saturday may 14 2017 the day before mother's day and they told me to file a police report but the officer I talked to said exactly this to me "I'm not going to investigate this" please help

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