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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

hello,i am keeping up and,and waiting too hear more news about the settlement ,that is taking place.i am one of the working consumers that money was taken from through western union,wire transfers i have the information and receipt's that those people left me with.as they conned me out of as much money that belong's too me,as they could get and then broke off contact.i am not a for theives too take ny money and anyboby else would agree with those people are wrong for their mistaking practices on americans and african americans.i want my complaint too be answered.and justice too be served.thank you

In April, the FTC published an update about the Western Union settlement. The US Department of Justice has information too.

I got scammed and transferred over 2 thousand to a western union account . I can't contact the hotline because I'm all the way in Malaysia . Please help me get my money back.

In April, the FTC published an update about the Western Union settlement. The US Department of Justice has information online as well. You can contact the Remission Administrator at 1-844-319-2124, email info@WesternUnionRemission.com, or sign up to receive updates via email here.

They had something called Western Union money flip a guy posing as a lady #916xxxxxxx said they are legit using y'all name a scammed me out of 400$ please stop this now I'm finna lose my house an kids they said they were going to help me now I'm finna lose everything they said they were going to help me for my children an robbed me

I was scammed in 2016 for postal money orders for work at home. Lost $900.00

So does it count me in because I'm just a member of the Wu program?? Is there possibility that I'm victim of identity theft?? I need to start calling these crazy hotline debt collector back. I even have loans but not to many out for many to call the way then stopped for a while now.. Is that why my baby mama also of wu program Having Harvard collector debts

My name is Shaun Kelly ,I have had over 50,000 emails from West Africa ,including Benin and Nigeria ,they all lie and constantly email you or phone you up ,to ask you to send money then more money ,and say you will loose your fund put pressure on you to send ,more money ,they use Black magic ,or Witchcraft ,to get you sucked in ,I don't understand how they get your email address ,when you are vulnerable ,they take advantage ,they should be made to pay back the money that was taken regards Shaun Kelly

I really hope y'all catch these people it's not right that they taking innocent people for granted

I am a victim and was scammed out $900.00 dollars from some loan company from London Then they emailed me and told me sorry for scam-scamming me

Hi, I was told to wire 300 and in return i received a federal grant of 9,000. How am I able to get restitution?

This Western Union update has information about how the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is handling the refunds.

Is there a date or timeframe the fraud monitoring was to be started by?

This Western Union update has information about how the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is handling the refunds.

Two amounts of $542 was taken out of our account using my credit card info via Western Union. Looks like they need more training in fraud. I don't know how they got my information but I would think that there would be more to opening up an account with them like address, etc. There are no safeguards. We are filling out a police report. We called Western Union's Fraud Division , who were not much help telling my hubby, oh well, the money is gone since it got picked up. Wow! So nonchalant. Easy to say since it's not their hard earned money. Is there anything further we can do?

If someone uesd your credit or debit card without your permission, contact your credit card company or bank.

Hi guys I have a question. I am a Western Union agent at a location and someone hacked into our computer at the store and made 5 fraudulent transactions in the amount of $5,000. They were able to stop the other $10,000. The department is asking for the amount through a wire transfer. Any suggestions ?

I was a victim of a scam. In need of a loan, I got contacted for what I thought it was a loan corp. I got requested to send money as collateral and I did through western union. I did sense something wrong when they stop responding me and I also reported it, to my local police. I do have the receipts from western union, the loan contract, and the police report as well. what should I do to get my money back.

The U.S. Department of Justice is handling the refunds. Get information at the FTC Western Union settlement page, and on the DOJ page for victims.

I was scammed from a Facebook friend they used her identity to contact the name of the scam is
Claims Representative at Deaf Hearing Lottery Worldwide Facebook Commission.

I met Joyce Taylor on Facebook. She scammed me of $1250.00 and I tryed File a fraud complaint but it didn't work.

I was scammed on a fake ebay site which I thought I was buying a pontoon boat.

I was scammed by some one on line I applied for a Job on 06/13 2011 I wired money to western union

I was scammed 2-3 years ago and no longer have the documentation cause I didn’t know what to do from there. Cause nobody offered any assistance. What would I do anabout this refund...?

The U.S. Department of Justice is handling the refunds. Get information at the FTC Western Union settlement page, and on the DOJ page for victims.

I also was scammed on a online dating site. I sent multiple Western Union Money Transfers. Lucky for me I kept Every Single Transaction. What do I need to do to get a refund?

The U.S. Department of Justice is handling the refunds. Get information at the FTC Western Union settlement page, and on the DOJ page for victims.

I'm a victim get phone calls, sent money. Had a report of police and paper to prove it. I just heard on tv. What's happening.

The Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice worked together on a settlement. The Department of Justice is handling the refunds.

Read questions and answers on the FTC Western Union settlement page.

Go to the DOJ page for victims to sign up for email updates.

I had sent money to someone claiming to be in the US army in nigeria.im finding this person is on many scam sites.how do I get my money back from Western Union?

If you lost money to a scammer between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, and you paid by Western Union, you can now ask for your money back. You must file your claim by February 12, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process.

I keep getting lottery and inher about for a day.to send them money.

I may know someone who is involved in these scams and need to find out who I report the information to, can anyone help?

Know someone who may be involved in this type of scam receivinget decent amount of money into bank account and then sending through Western Union to places such as Nigeria and need to know who I can notify before more individuals get scammed!

I to have sent money to a scammer in Nigeria and he was posing as a american stuck there and I have all the receipts even texts messages of every action ive done when I would text this guy..now I wonder whats my next step and if i can do anything about it

If you lost money to a scammer who had you pay using Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you can now file a claim to get your money back.

Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process. You have to file a claim by February 12, 2018.

What's happens once I file a claim i have more than one receipt

If you lost money to a scammer who had you pay using Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you can now file a claim to get your money back.

Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process. You have to file a claim by February 12, 2018.

When you go to the website where you file the claim, you can list every transaction separately.

I was told by Western Union, Tygervalley, that this article is a scam. Can anyone shed some light on this, please? According to the article written by Bridget Small, consumer Educational Specialist FTC, this is not true.

The FTC article is not a scam.

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 have to file a claim by February 12, 2018.

Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process.

I have been scammed out of thousands of dollars. How do I get the forms needed to ask for a refund?

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 have to file a claim by February 12, 2018.

Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process.

I work for a check cashing business and we were scammed from a scammer claiming to be a western union agent will companies get paid the money they were scammed?? I believe it must have been an inside job they knew a lot about western union

Check cashing businesses are not eligible for refunds from Western Union's global settlement with the FTC and the Department of Justice.

I was a victim of a scam by a person in another country. I sent the money through Western Union.

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 February 12, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process.

I am concerned about them asking for Social Security#. I turned my form over to the Police Dept. and they suggested that I not give anyone that personal information. This seems sketchy since this is a fraud/scam and they are asking for personal information. Seems to me that it could be handled a lot differently.

It's good to be careful about sharing your Social Security number. But in this situation, the U.S. Department of Justice must ask for your Social Security number when you apply for a refund. This FTC explains more at FTC.gov/WU.

The Department of Justice must check with the Treasury Offset Program to be sure you don't owe money to the federal government. It needs your Social Security number to do that.

What if you do not have any of your paper history from when you were scammed? I reported the scammed as this happened several years ago but didn't think anything would come out of it so I didn't keep anything. Now what??

You could contact the agency you reported to and ask for a copy of your report.

Also, when you file a claim, you will give details that you know about each transaction. You can include the date, location you sent from, location you sent to, amount sent and other details. You can send copies of paper work if you have it. To start your claim, go to FTC.gov/WU.

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