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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

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Me too|Oct. 2004| I received check for $78,867, told to add $4000 and wire to Nigeria in order to receive more several million dollars. After my financial institution assured me the check has cleared, I withdrew the amount of check and more than $4000 additional was wired through Western Union. A total of 21 days later. I was told the check was no good and charges were brought against me. My accounts were frozen, I sold my house for $100,000 below value and made full restitution for the check. The frozen money were never released to me. I was homeless for almost 4 months and I lost all my furniture because I couldn't afford storage. My attorney passed away earlier this year and the prosecutor who has copies of western union receipts (discovery files) refuses to give me the information I need to verify my claim. I hope I can get some of my money back. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and there are were few days that I am pain free. There is no cure but there are many advertised treatments (expensive treatments)

You can file a claim for a refund. You must file by February 12, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to start.

You can file a claim if you don't have documents. When you file, give as much information as you can about your wire transfer and the money you lost. Tell when and why you sent the money. That will help the Department of Justice validate your claim.

I filed a claim. The claim number is WUU xxxxxxxx. I was wondering if and when I would hear anything from you. I was not given much information where I filed. Thank you.

It might take a year for the Department of Justice to process all the claims and send out checks. Go to www.WesternUnionRemission.com for updates.

i was scammed for a company that was supposed to be in england offering me a job in the us as an internet ad posting then they sent me a check for 3150 dlls and told me to cash it and send $2800 dlls to some one in canada as soon as i received the check and i was going to keep $350 for doing so. so i did as they said but in two weeks the bank call me and said that the check has no funds that i needed to return that money.i tryed to contact that company in england but never got any response. and now im in debt with the bank

back in 2006 i receive a call from my origin country that one of my brother was going to be kidnap, and they ask me to send them 3000 dollar, witch i did, using Western Union thanks nothing happen to my brother .

You can file a claim to get your money back. You must file the claim by February 12, 2018.

Go to FTC.gov/WU to begin.

I got scammed several times on 2015 from someone to found later was a porn star. I send the money thru Western Union and Money Grand, Money Grand should be apply the same money transfer refund to people who is been in the same situation. I hopping get my refund from western Union.

You can file a claim to get your money back. You must file the claim by February 12, 2018.

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

I was scam about winning 2.5 milliom and 2017 merdes benz.in 2017. i was scam for over 2500.00 dollar

If you lost money 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 begin.

I would like to file a claim. I received a Postal M.O. and had to deposit it into my Bank Act. I did and the Bank thought it was real also. I had to send 994.00 to someone in Phoenix, AZ the next day. This happened on 6/13/2014. I have since tried to be scammed but I didn't bite the second time.

This process is only for people who lost money to a scammer between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017 and paid by Western Union.

If that applies to you, 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.

of the 586 million to be paid to vicims... im reading the 13 years about a 100 billion was sent. the 500000 in claims mailed to victims... it sounds like you will get a fraction of the amount submitted. Do you have an estimate of how many billions will be applied for and how this will devalue every one down to pennies on the dollar.

The Department of Justice said it mailed more than 500,000 petitions to identified victims with instructions on how to file a petition. People who did not get petitions may also file a claim for a refund. To stay informed about the refund process, go to FTC.gov/WU.

I received a letter in mail from Western Union claim # 101xxxxx with a pin to fill out and mail in.on the back of paper it says to write down your social security number. Is this safe to do? Jason

After the FTC reached a settlement with Western Union, the company agreed to return $586 million to people. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is handling the refund process.

DOJ hired Gilardi & Co to send claim forms to people who already reported a fraud loss to the FTC or another government agency.  You have to send your request for a refund by February 12, 2018. You can send the paper form, but the FTC suggests you start filing on our secure website at FTC.gov/WU.

The claim forms ask for your Social Security number because, before it can send you a check, DOJ must see if you owe money to the US government, and they need your Social Security number to do the review. That’s why the FTC suggests you file your claim on the secure website instead of sending the paper form through the postal mail.

I was involved in a Money gram scam will that still be considered for a refund? Also it was Feb 7th 2017. I read the cutoff day was Jan 19th is that really going to make a difference?

You may file a claim to get money back only if you lost money to a scammer who had you pay using Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017.  

i send in my form and i forgot to write down my claim number and pin number can you find out what they are

The FTC doesn't have information about your claim number.

You can call Gilardi & Co. at 844-319-2124 to ask about your claim number. The US Department of Justice hired Gilardi & Co. to manage the refund process.

I'm a victim of scammers by two different men ... I sent hundreds of dollars ..

I was just scammed through Western because one of the guy told me to claiming his funds to use peopple who need helps and i did claim his 5 million , but i did not recieved any money to help people for missionary trip i spent 50,000 to claim his funds. Until now i did not get anything back i know i was a scam by someone. So how can i get my money back because wester union company did not have protection.

If you sent the money after January 19, 2017, you are not eligible to ask for a refund from the Western Union settlement with the FTC.

But you can report the scam the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give goes into a database for law enforcement. You can also report to the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492. 

If the scammer contacted you on a website, like a dating website or business website, you can report him to the website too.

Im a victim of a scammer. I need to flie a claimed.

You must file a claim by February 12, 2018. You can file a claim if you lost money to a scammer between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017 and you paid by Western Union.

 

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

I was scammed out of over 20.000 or more over the course of started in 2014 until 10,2917

You can file a claim if you lost money to a scammer between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017 and you paid by Western Union.

The claim will not cover money you lost after January 19, 2017. You must file a claim by February 12, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process.

I am the victim of identity theft,Iwould like to file a claim.

Go to IdentityTheft.gov to report identity theft.

my son got scammed 2009 for 4800 he met a girl pm facebook who said her parent were killed in a plane crash and she need yo get back to the states she said she couldn't cash her paycheck in Nigeria so she would send it to him and he could wire her thru western union the money and he could keep 200 he deposited the check AND CASHED IT AND FOUND OUT LATER THE CHECK WAS NO GOOD WE HAD TO P;AY THE BANK BACK AS MY NAME WS ON THE ACCOUNT AS A COSIGNER my son had some mental problems and trusted everyone he since has passed away and I have lost the bank records can I still file a claim I don't think that person was a female that scmmed him

You can file a claim for another person if you represent that person's estate, or you have power of attorney for the person making the claim. Read more about the claim process at FTC.gov/WU.

I was a victim of fraud but it happened to me 3/2017 my date doesn’t match the refund dates. What should i do?

Yes, I am a victim to. I would like to file a claim,asap. I was scam of too much money,only a certain amount for western union. Hopeful can get some back.

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.

Where do we go to find the status of our claim after we've submitted all our paperwork to the law firm?

I was a victim of identity theft and Western Union was behind it all I lost a total of 6500 during March 13 2015 and March 15 2015 in money transfers they I was trying to send for someone over in Nigeria what a silly thing to do what makes it worse Western Union lied and tried to cover it up.

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 was a victim of scammed in 2015 with 4,500 how I claim???

If you used Western Union to send money to a scammer between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, 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, or en espanol FTC.gov/es/WU.

I got scammed several times and now an officer of the reserve bank tells me that to send my money I have to pay $580. That looks like another scam. How can I tell the FTC?

You can report that at FTC.gov/complaint. You can help law enforcement by giving details about the call or email. The information will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Yes im one those victims too, how can i get all my refunds back from those scammers. This happened many times in the last 2 years these lot scammed me for $$$$

Victim of Winning loads of $$$

also i can verify the scammers names & location which i hope i still got them on my ole phones..

victim back in 2015-2016

I lost 2016 330€ and now i here i can get my money back.please.

If you used Western Union to send money to a scammer between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you can ask for money back.

You must ask for money back by February 12, 2018.  You can ask for money back if you are not in the US. You can ask for money back if you are not a US citizen.

To start, go to FTC.gov/WU. When you are on FTC.gov/WU, you can click the orange button at the top of the page. Then click again and you will connect to the website where you file your request for a refund.

Between 2004 and 2005 I was asked to send money over seas it said I had won money got a check in the mail which I deposited in the bank sent the money to them after check cleared after the required days for it to sit in the bank to clear. After about 3 weeks wait sent it all to find out that the check wasn't real and I did not win anything

I was scammed for over $4,000.oo in February of 2014. I still have copies of the transmission slips and the Police Report number. How do I sign up become part of the recovery?

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