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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


You can contact the refund administrator to ask about your claim. The contact information is on this page.

I request that western union re-open the above case. Below is an email that I had received from customer service.
Upon further investigation of the relevant team, the transaction has been paid correctly to the intended receiver on 06-AUG-2018 at 05:23:37 EST in Ekiti, Nigeria.
It is very clear that Western Union made a huge mistake by paying the wrong person. Where's Ekiti, Nigeria? I have sent money through western union for the past 18 years, these transactions have been made in Warri, Nigeria. I have no friends, or family members anywhere near this particular area. Someone in the system have found a way to steal from me because a western union agent made it possible for this to happen. I have tried to explain to whomever that all western union has to do to carry out this investigation is to back track all of my monetary transactions with western union. I have worked with the same company for 18 years, sent money through the same business center for 18 years.
Does this mean that whenever we as western union customers send money any where and at any time, we do so at our own risk. There's no guarantees that our family member will ever receive the money. Is this what western union stands for?

You can tell the FTC about a problem you have with a business. Go to and give the details. The information you provide will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

Bridget, I was scammed of life savings in Dec. 2009. Contacted also EFCC Nigeria and Western Union at the time. This man came on a Christian website and gained confidence. I tried to track this man through the London Embassy.. everywhere possible after that. Will the FTC consider those who have waited longest in sending out settlements? I reported this to Gilardi Co. on Nov. 19, 2017.

I am a victim of fraud. I sent 400 dollars through western union was told I would receive 4000 n never received anything

WU just needs to be shut down. I sent money to my girlfriend (for over 12) years over seas and western union decided to take the matters into their own hands and said she is not allowed to pick up the money I sent her for her medication. WU does not control my money. I do! Now my money is sitting in WU still showing available for pick up but yet it was cancelled??? If it were cancelled it would state " cancelled" online under that transaction. I sent a transaction that had to be cancelled because i spelt the name wrong. I called WU and they told me they couldnt change the name but can cancel the transaction, put the money back into my account and resend. Tell me what the difference is between the first cancellation and the 2nd one? How come money can be instantly put back into my account the first cancellation and the second? This is straight out fraud and discrimination. WU could not give me a reason why she could not pick up the money sent. They are taking matters into their own hands as to where the money goes and who gets it. people like that should be fired. Ill never use that service again. Over 10 years with them.

I got email Hello my dear, how are you today hope you are fine? I write to inform you that we have already sent you $5,200.00. Unite State Dollars through
Western union as we have been given the mandate to transfer your full compensation payment the total sum of $1.4 Million Dollars) via western
union by this Government,

I was been trying to send you an E-mail since yesterday for the Western Union payment Details but the message keep returning back I don't really
know why, therefore I try to re-send the e-mail to you again today with all the Western Union payment information for you to pick up the money
from any outlet Western Union around you, such as MTCN and Sender Name so that you will pick up this $5,200.00. United State Dollars to enable
us send another $5,200.00. Tomorrow as you know we will be sending you only$5,200.00 United State Dollars per day.

Please copy all this information and run to any nearest Western Union to pick up the $5,200.00. And call me back to send you another payment
tomorrow, my direct phone line is +254-72950-4702, Manager: Dr.Paul or email me once you picked up this $5,200.00. United State
Dollars today,

Here is the Western Union information to pick up the $5,200.00. United State Dollars

Sender’s First Name____Paul
Senders Second Name____Larry
Senders Country KENYA
Text question___When
MTCN Number_

how will we notified about our claims and when will the refund checks be coming.

how do we get notifed that the claims have been ok d and when will the funds get sent

I need a refund from Western Union in the amount of $5000.00 never received and I paid cash.

I know it may take a year for a refund. However when do you anticipate starting to and out refunds? That way we will know when to start looking .

how will we be notified about our refund checks and when will they be sent out.

Hi ....what do we do if we TODAY sent money through western union and was not advised of all the scam stuff or the possibility of it not going through or being sent and they took all of your personal information including your social drivers license number date of birth your home address and then they don't send it but you call to verify the information and give them the same information and they still don't send it then why are they getting all of our personal information like that up front when they know in the end there's fraud cases in that area high fraud is what they're saying but knowing that it's my brother is going to and he standing there verifying I'm in another state verifying seems as if there would be no way to go back and report fraud if you call in and verify it however they are still refusing to send so why isn't there something in place to where they can tell you upfront whether they would be able to send it and if they take all of that personal information they should be able to guarantee that they can send it because you don't have to give up that much information to buy a car secondly what happens if I sent the money and yet you go to find out why the other person hasn't gotten it and they say that they're refunding it but you never see the refund every time you go up there they say that there's not one there and this was just today so they are still doing some very shady business practices as well as fraud because the things that can be gotten with all of that personal information and no matter what they still refuse to allow it sent then that information can be used to access many many many funds in someone else's name and then still not being given your refund when you go up there and give them the number they say that there's not a refund there it's just the original transaction that you sent the receiver that was hours later denied and my brother called me standing in Western Union and said that they were trying to contact me to verify yet I have not gotten one call so I called in however they're not even calling back to verify this information when they say they are and then turning right around and denying it and given the same exact information as they were when I sent it yet now they have all of my personal information that can be used to obtain any kind of loan or whatever they choose and then still not refund the money or anything just the original claim sitting there as if it's not been touched no refund no pickup no nothing although they told me there would be one there's no such refund. I am just now reading here about all of this with WU and had I not had these issues wouldve never known...isnt part of the agreement the fact that they have to clearly state when there's fraud or possibility of fraud and their anti-fraud rules because I wasn't told anything about it until they just said we don't feel comfortable sending it because it's a high fraud area they didn't say anything about this whole lawsuit or the fact that it couldn't be sent in the beginning before they got all my personal information they're not disclosing anything still..thank god this article is here otherwise id be in the dark as it looks everyone has been for MANY years!

I have lost so much in 2016 -2017 to scammers i really my funds to redeem

I still have not heard anything in reference my refund. Wondering when will it be mailed, and will the parcel be certified, signature required, etc. Hoping for an answer.

You can review and Gilardi & Co. for updates from time to time. Gilardi & Co. is the company the US Department of Justice hired to handle the refund process.

People sent in more than 180,000 Western Union refund claims. Gilardi & Co. is reviewing and evaluating all the claims to determine eligibility. If information is missing from your claim, Gilardi & Co may contact you by mail to explain what is missing and to ask for more information. No payments will be sent until all the claims are reviewed.

I have reported my claim in this lawsuit I'm just wondering when I should expect my refund

I am one of them ben a scam what or whot can I do for to recive all so my monay back

SECOND £250 thay promess to pay me around £1000 and hantill today I don't recive eny why

I filled out the information because I was scammed out of money as well and was wondering when we I will be getting any of the refund? Have they made a set amount and how will I know when that will be sent out?

You can read about the refund process at and Gilardi & Co. . Gilardi & Co. is the company the US Department of Justice hired to manage the refund process.

Gilardi & Co. is reviewing and evaluating all the claims to determine eligibility. If information is missing from your claim, Gilardi & Co may contact you by mail to explain what is missing and to ask for more information. No payments will be sent until all the claims are reviewed.

I was scammed from $800 from trying to buy a puppy from someone and now i am banned from using western union.... i cant get money to family or from them. plus it doesnt help i lost a lot of money.... how do i file a claim?


Get information about the status of the refund process at

Yeah, I sent my 11/19/17 and crickets.... Every time they mention a deadline ironically the deadline gets extended...again. I am beginning to think this a scam as well. #beyondfrustrated

I got a letter back 2017 asking me to submit my petition, which
I did electronically using my pin # along with the claim # this
took place on 11/20/2017. what is the status

Get information about the status of the refund process at

I am a victim and want to file a claim and get my money back that was wired.

I wonder how much interest they're collected off of our stolen money. This is being drug out way to long. Sent my forms in May, 2017. Come on people. Maybe were being scammed again

You can get information about the status of the refund process at and Gilardi & Co., the company the US Department of Justice hired to manage the refund process, asked some people to submit more information about their claims. Their deadline to respond is June 30, 2019.

This is bull crap! Every time there is a deadline it keeps getting pushed back further and further. I am starting to think that this isn't even real and just another scam. Are we actually going to get our money or is this just a bunch of hot air your blowing around?

Go to to read the latest information about the refund process. You can also get information at That's the website for Gilardi & Co, the company hired by the US Department of Justice to manage the refund process.

submitted a claim 2/5/2018 with police reports & all doc required except Western Union Receipt I have not relieved any response @ all as of this date 6/6/2019 What? & Why

Go to and for the most recent updates about the refund process. The FTC page has questions and answers for people who filed claims.

I was also scammed out of about 30 to 40 thousand dollars over the span of 2 years I was even blackmailed to send money several times.

I sent cash recently, and saw yellow warning alerts on the WU screen. I wasn't warned by the agent either. I lost my money. They're still at it! I guess they make more profit from fee's than they paid out in the FTC settlement. When I filed a report with WU, they misdirected me to my local police station. The police said I had to contact ...

i recieved an email stating that i woyld be recieving 1.2 million as a settlement is this correct? did western union aggree to pay out over 556 million to folks who were frauded. please advise thank you so much!!! i did send my banking info but they wanted no monies upfront so thought it would be ok doing so many thanks howard


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