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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

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?

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.

The western union refund time limit has been extended to 31st May 2018

I sent money for guarantee loan the amount I sent was over 1000 dollars using money gram and over 900 using western union I am dealing with western union how do I deal with money gram

I need to file a claims against western union also.

You must submit your claim by May 31, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process.

Western Union scammed me for 12000$ between 2015-2017 thru a scam out ofSouth Africa someone was saying they had 14 million inheritance that person was Tiffany MW does anybody else that person telling same scam if so please contact me at\

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.

Hi me and my husband are also victims of a fraud , back in 2009 we lost almost $3000 in a purchase of a car :(
we were so desperate and stupid !!! but now that we have an opportunity that getting our money back it feels really good ! we hope that everybody that went through the same situation get it too ! good luck

i was told to cah acheck of2,500.00 dollars and send them the other ,i like to went the jail for this s....h

Is the claim form only for USA citizens? The articles say, "global"-- I'm Australian & want to know if I can make a claim? It is NOT at all clear who is eligible.

The frequently asked questions on the US Department of Justice claim site say: You are not required to be a United States citizen or in the United States to file a petition.

Go to FTC.gov/WU for more information and to start the claim filing process. If you do not have a claim form, click the orange button near the top of the FTC.gov/WU page to be connected to the claim filing website.

I was scammed out of like 3500 to 4000 grand doing this lotto that I was told was legit. Come to find out it isn't. Please help me get my money back. Need it back so bad.

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 May 31, 2018.

Go to FTC.gov/WU to read more about the claims and to start the process.

how do I join the list?I sent over$200.00 then found out it was a scam.

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 May 31, 2018.

Go to FTC.gov/WU to read about the refund process. You can click the orange button near the top of the FTC.gov/WU  to connect to the claim filing website.

I have been online dating one person for over a year now. I have sent her a lot of money during that time. I am trying to find out if she is a scammer for a long time. Is there a data base that I can check her out on. It is now about $18.000.00 later.

A scammer might not tell you her real name. You might not find her real name, or fake name, in a database. You can trust your instincts. If it doesn't feel right, it's probably a scam. If she claims love, but quickly asks for money for emergencies for herself and her family - it's probably a scam. This blog post explains the signs of a scam.

If you feel things aren't right, don't send money.

I was scammed through a fake eBay company and I can’t believe I failed for it. The money was sent through western union to a person that was supposed to be their representative. We called the police department in Jackson ms. And they done nothing. Am I eligible for it

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 your money back. You must file a claim by May 31, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to learn more and connect to the claim filing website.

If you sent money after those dates, you are not eligible for the refund program, but you can report the scam to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

You can also report to the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492.

I have filed my claims and it was a lot-will it be on one check or will they be separate.

You can contact the refund administrator to ask about your claim. The contact information is on this page. And save a link to FTC.gov/WU. We have useful information about the process and will update the page when there is news.

I was scammed years ago. Is there still a way to get reimbursed? If so, please let me know who to get in touch with. Thanks

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 your money back. You must file a claim by May 31, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to learn more and connect to the claim filing website.

I sent money numerous times thousands of dollars n feel so stupid to find out the people were having fun on my dime I worked hard for.....will I be able to get the money back? I have all receipts from Western Union with their information as well!

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 your money back. The deadline to file a claim is May 31, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to learn more and connect to the claim filing website.

Has anyone ever sent money to China? Well I did and boy was that a mistake! The website looked very legit except they wanted you to wire money. I looked at you tube videos which said it was common so I trusted topeng- mart. com. Well as soon as i sent the money the person who emailed me Bill@ topeng-mart. com was no longer reachable. I worked hard to get the money that I sent and to be scammed I feel like a complete fool! I'm not going to stop trying to find a way to shut down this website until they are gone! Feeling real pissed right now...

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don’t go into the law enforcement database.

i am victim of frauds of Nigerian peoples

I was scammed out of $250. The guy pretended to work for Western Union and his girlfriend was the manager.

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 your money back.

The deadline to file a claim is tomorrow: May 31, 2018.

Go to FTC.gov/WU to read about the refund program. You can click on the orange button near the top of the FTC.gov/WU page to connect to the page where you file a claim. The US Department of Justice is responsible for the website where you file a claim.

Is there a time limit to file? i was scammed in 2015

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 your money back.

The deadline to file a claim is tomorrow: May 31, 2018.

Go to FTC.gov/WU to read about the refund program. You can click on the orange button near the top of the FTC.gov/WU page to connect to the page where you file a claim. The US Department of Justice is responsible for the website where you file a claim.

My Mother has been scammed by this act for the last several months. There have been multiple accounts where she has been made promises of the deliverance of a $10,000,000 Lotory winning and even texted a photograph of a check for $12,300,000 (plus) with the Chase Bank logo. Not only are the scammers using Western Union, they are also utilizing Money Grams through Walmart and Rite Aid for this same scam. Moreover, these people have also falsified FBI documents, as well in their endeavor to persuade... that they are legitimate. Anyone scammed by these people should maintain all paperwork records. The stress And worry I have witnessed my Mother endure is undeserving of any elder. It is time that we do something about these terrorist actions against our families.

I received this email is this true?

DEAR BENEFICIARY! In a global settlement with the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) and the US Department of Justice, Western Union agreed to return $586 million to people who were scam victims and create a real strong anti-fraud program. It will interest you to know your email address is among the selected victims. You can read more about this process on the FTC website consumer.ftc.gov/blog /2017/ 01/western-union-settlement-586-million-refunds).

Upon this a payment return of $5000 has been made out to you, Here is the payment information below: It is necessary you track your money on our website to confirm it is available for pick up at western union now. (Track the MTCN: xxx-xxx-xxx) by visiting our website: westernunion. com/ global-service/ track-transfer Kindly reconfirm your details as requested below for accurate record purpose.

Your Name............. Your Full Address..... Your Phone number..... Your Occupation.......

Dr.Harrison Jack, Western Union cyber crime service director.

No, that is not true. That is a scam email.

The scammer asked you to send your name, address, phone number and occupation - he is phishing for your personal information.

If you filed a claim for a refund from Western Union, go to FTC.gov/WU. That's the FTC page with questions and answers about the refund process. We will add new information to that page when the refund administrator finishes reviewing the claims.

Are the refunds coming as a check and if so how will we know it's not another scam

Please contact the refund administrator to ask about refunds. The contact information is on this page. And save a link to FTC.gov/WU. We have useful information about the process and will update the page when there is news.

I know over due date by couple weeks i been scammed by two men in dating scammed by sending money through western union to to people in Nigeria to be pick up for them one was 2,500 to Frank Johnson that was November 6 2016 there be other transaction as well he pick up for guy i was talking to equal up to another 2,000 dollars then there was Thomas Frank who pick up for his liberty pass as well his over night stay in Germany then for him get to me then loss his liberty pass need new one. for another guy amount equal up to be 2,000 dollars guy was talking to say was coming home see me that was in September November 2016 rush me saying for his replacement for his food his bullets and he got hurt on the way.

The deadline to file a claim for a refund has passed. The deadline to file a claim was May 31, 2018.

You can report a scam to the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 and 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.

i was scam by couple in nigeria so this lady name patrica chandler claimed that u had won the powerball drawing she had she sent the link and it look legit so we stayed in contacted she emailed the next night telling that how she found out how she had a rare blood illness and there was no cure and she want to leave me in charged of her affairs so i agreed and she sent me contact of the guy in charge of her trust since it was a large amount she email one more time then it stopped then her so called daughter margret chandler contacted me and was asking if i still wanted the funds i agreed then 2 to 3 three days later she gave me contact detail to something like ups so this guy told me that i would half to pay customs for them to send me the funds as promised do u know this went on for bout 3 or 4 weeks think i never thought anything was wrong til they started telling me if i didnt pay the money they would have me put in jail this was back in 2016-2017 im still waiting on the funds til this day still nothing i need to know what i need to do to get added to the law suit

The deadline to file a claim for a refund has passed. The deadline was May 31, 2018.

Can can report this scam to the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 and 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.

I received an email that i came up in the system to receive money. When i entered the MCM number it said available hours later when i went to pick it up i was told that it was already picked up.When i called and spoke to a agent about the matter so begin to explain the transter wasn't for me and once i begin to ask questions she abruptly hurried to rush me off the phone. So yes i believe there's some fraud tactics going on inside Western Union with there agents and they all need to be invegistated. If its money owed and i had the MCM numbers why cant i receive the funds

You can report problems to the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492.

If you received a surprise email saying won money, or had money waiting at Western Union, that might have been a scam. If you get another email saying you should pay money to get money, that's definitely a scam.

Someone offered me a job, and he asked me to start processing since June 2017 and and I should make payment through western union several times in 2017 till finished my final part of payment just 2 weeks ago and the men gone disappeared now,but ive sent the money to different receiver.. if the deadline to file a claim for refund has passed, will I still can get my money back? What should I do? please help!

You can report that to the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492.  You can report this 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.

is the ftc going after money gram also ,after western union is done

I feel that the company that is handling the claims has been treating my uncles estate claim unfairly. Who do I talk to about this issue???? I want to talk to someone that will get something done

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