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A Western Union update

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We told you earlier this year about the $586 million settlement with Western Union – where the company will return money to people who were tricked into wiring money to scammers using Western Union. Those refunds are part of a global settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and our partners at DOJ are handling the refunds.

Since many of you have been asking about where things stand, we wanted to give you an update on the Western Union refund process. Here’s what we can tell you so far:

  • DOJ will run the refunds process, and the process has not started. In fact, Western Union still has more time to pay all of the $586 million.
  • Once DOJ has all of the money – later this year – they’ll open up the process for people to make claims. They call it a “Petition for Remission” process.
  • If you sent money via Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, and lost it to a scammer, you might be eligible for a refund.
  • DOJ will have to verify all the claims it gets before it can send out refunds. That might take at least a year.
  • All eligible claimants will get some money back, but how much depends on how much you lost, how many people ask for a refund, and how big the total losses are.

Here’s what you can do now:             

  • If you still have it, keep your paperwork, including money transfer receipts and materials relating to the scam, in case you need it to file your claim. 
  • Don’t pay anyone who promises to get you a Western Union refund in return for money. Neither the FTC nor DOJ will ever do that.
  • Check out the FTC’s or DOJ’s Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.
  • Sign up for email updates about Western Union refunds.

And watch this space for more updates as we have them.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Hi. What i must to do if i don't receive documents?i helped "US Army soldier"

I lost the sum of seventy thousand between 2012 to 2015. I got all receipts and the name of the people that scammed me out of money they claimed to be the effect in Nigeria. They were going I got to refund me back over the amount I sent there to all the scam from a guy that claimed to be an American. .so I contacted the efcc in Nigeria well it was a disaster it was collecting money from me in fees I had to pay taxes and bank fees to get the money sent well it all was another scam. It was so depressing for me. I even got four 999 dollars in fake money orders which I tuned over to the postal service. I put two in my bank the bank thought they were real, but they all were fake. I did a report at the postal service. I did a report to the real efcc in Nigeria. They never gave me any hope either. I sent them transactions no to them and the people that received the money it was different names I sent money to they claimed they worked for efcc as clerks.im sure the trade commission came across my name. I live in ky. I talked to some one there I got my info together. I hope I get my money back. These country that scam people needs to be blocked from contacting any one in America. We created the internet and it been nothing but a disaster for people and our country and the whole world

I got scammed for a lot of money and even had me to borrow on my home which is now in foreclosure. I really need all of my funds to help me now. I understand there are a lot of people involved in this but seems it should be speeded up a lot faster than a year. There should be something that can be done for these scammers from overseas taking peoples monies they have worked hard for all their lives. They need to be dealt with and punished. Their countries need to assist in this as well instead of them going free. What exactly can be done to prevent this???

The US Department of Justice is handling the refunds for the global settlement. The Department of Justice has information about the refund process. You can contact the Remission Administrator at 1-844-319-2124,  email info@WesternUnionRemission.com,  or sign up to receive updates via email here.

I was scam back in 2007 or 2008 from canada who pose as a Financial Bank and they scam me out of 400.00 but I turn it in to the BBB but I never heard from anyone, do you think I can be eligible for this, they promise a loan. Thank you

The US Department of Justice is handling the refunds for the global settlement. The Department of Justice has information about the refund process.

You can contact the Remission Administrator at 1-844-319-2124, or email info@WesternUnionRemission.com,  or sign up to receive updates via email here.

I was scammed out of between $11,000 and 12,000 by a scammer who claimed to be an American. He was onPOF and unfortunately I believed his line of bs. He was srptranded in Ghana and sounded so desperate and scared when he asked for help I gave it to him. I even borrowed money several times. The last time I talked to him I told him I was broke which was true. He begged me to send him at least $200 because he was starving. The day I sent the money he came online immediately to get the information and I haven't been able to get in touch with him since. The money was sent by moneygram. I have receipts and messages and emails between us with him promising to pay me back. I desperately need the money but he's nowhere to be found. He never answers my messages. How can I make him pay without publicizing how stupid I was. I don't want anyone to know about this. I would never have a minutes peace if they found out. Please help.

You can call the MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 1‑800‑926‑9400 to report what happened, and report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. 

You can also tell the dating site about the scammer who put a profile on the site.

Bridget. All the dating sites that have the scammers on their sites, do not care. Is the FTC and DOJ going to go after the dating sites also? They should be investigated for fraud also. You tell them and they turn a blind eye to this giant problem. Are you going after MoneyGram also? Thank you.

I was scammed through Western Union pretty bad. I do have the receipts. How do I get my money back?

You didn't say when this happened.

The FTC and Department of Justice have a settlement with Western Union related to transfers made between 2004 and 2015.The US Department of Justice is handling the refunds for that global settlement. The Department of Justice has information about the refund process. You can contact the Remission Administrator at 1-844-319-2124, or email  info@WesternUnionRemission.com,  or sign up to receive updates via email here.

If you lost money at a different time, you can call the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492.

I lost $6985 to the scammers. They interviewed me and offered jo. They sent me fake checks and I was fooled by them. I made multiple transactions with Western Union, Walmart to Walmart money transfer, and moneygram to transfer money to someone else. I thought I am working for Pitech Incorporation and the checks have been cleared out. But now my bank informed me about the returned checks and I am responsible for the returned checks. If any in the same situation please help me. The scams happen on September 29, 2017 to October 03, 2017. Am I eligible for Western Union refunds? Please help me. I am broke and indebted now.

You might be eligible for a refund in the matter described in this blog if you sent money via Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, and lost it to a scammer. You sent money after that date, and are not eligible for a refund from the settlement.

However, you could report this to the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 and MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 1‑800‑926‑9400.  If you found the fake employment on a job website, you could report the fake employer to the website moderator. You can also report to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

They called me, yelled at me to walk 5 miles to walmart, to buy a $300 I-tunes card,and cursed and insulted my wife. I proceeded to call them back up, over and over and over and... yeah..... soo, after they yelled and screamed at me over the course of about an hour and half, and around 75 calls on two fones, they stopped answering alltogether, and blocked me... I feel bad though, because in the course of that little headbutting, I got to see just how many others called right into their trap. As time went on, their numbers would be busy... and i couldnt do anything, outside of hopeing that i was in the way.

Within a few days it will be 7 mos. and the last update was in April, 2017, so what exactly is going on and a more recent update. Is this going to handled before year end cause it would be nice to have money due by then. It would seem that it is time for an up date by now. I really need my funds

partners at DOJ are handling the refunds. Once DOJ has all of the money, sometime late in 2017,  it will open up the process for people to make claims. DOJ calls the process a “Petition for Remission” process. Read DOJ's frequently asked questions for more information.

My cousins were scam for $500.00 about a year a ago. They thought they were getting me out of jail in Mexico. I have never been there so I like to recover money for them, not for me: these people are poor and to do that to so call help me. I was not in jail and like I mention, never have been to Mexico. I can provide names if Western Union is serious about this. JAG

Hello Can I still get help I was not contacted until June 15 2017 Your above article January 17 as being a cut of date. Please,let me know. I have been taken for 10,000.00 and they are trying really hard to get more.

The US Department of Justice hired an Administrator to help return money to some people.

Call the Administrator at 1-844-319-2124, or send email to  info@WesternUnionRemission.com.

how do i know if im about to get scammed . guy seems really genuine sent me lots of info about himself and pics also . claims hes a soldier only asked for £100 been chatting to him for a while now . this is the 1st times hes mentioned money to top is internet bundle on his phone up .. im very inquisituve towards him theirs no hesitations in his reply. how will i know if its scammer

What if your claim is after the January 2017 date. I was scammed 8th September 3017 for $1000 am I able to claim?

You can report problems to the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 1-800-448-1492 and to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

Have there been any recent updates on the refund process?

The US Department of Justice is handling the refunds. There is a page describing the refund process. You can sign up to get email updates about refunds. 

I was recently contacted by someone claiming to be the western union agent. She said that I was being rewarded a net spend master card loaded with $150,000 for my scam with them. In the email was a letter from the DOJ on the funds. I am suppose to choose how to have it delivered by UPS a 3 day delivery is $435 for insurance & delivery. I have sent copies of my emails to see if it is legitimate. After reading that the DOJ hasn't started the refund process I believe it is a new scam.

How much longer does Western Union have to pay all the funds for this remission? Seems that almost a year should be sufficient for a company their size

When DOJ has all of the money it will open the process for people to make claims. DOJ will call the process a “Petition for Remission.” Go to the Western Union Remission page for more information and to sign up to for updates on the process.

I had sent a comment in on Sept. 27th and never got a reply. I would like to know if this is a new scam or what? I sent the information into FTC to see and no one has got back with. Howard we suppose to find out if these are scams if no one responds?

You're right, the Department of Justice hasn't started the remission process. If you get a surprise call and someone offers you money (or a credit card loaded with money), but they want you to pay before you get it, that's probably a scam. Go here to read about the DOJ remission process and sign up for email updates.

I live in Selkirk Manitoba Cda. I received a call from a man claiming to be Publisher Clearing House and that I won 850,000. I was to get to the mail, mail $75 wrapped in newspaper and send to Kareem Powell at 200 Pearl St Bld 3 Apt 1 Liverpool New York 13088 to get a certificate to claim my price. Letting you know of this scam.

İ lost 150000türkish liras. His name is william Jones.

We were scammed 2500 dollars quite a few years ago. A police report was filed. Just now getting a letter that we might be able to reclaim our money. The letter is from United States v. The Western Union Company. It says the department of justice hired Gilardi & Co. To serve as the remission administrator in this matter. Any idea if this is legit or not?

The FTC's new blog post explains that 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.

If you already reported your fraud loss to Western Union, the FTC, or another government agency, you might get a claim form in the mail. The forms will come from Gilardi & Co. That's the company the Department of Justice hired to handle the claims.

You can file your claim online.  Use the Claim ID and the PIN that are on the form you received in the mail.

I was Scammed out of 2,500 from Jan. 2004-2017 to send money to Africa. They wanted me to help them they were stranded and when they got the money from the Gold mine I would get my money back and some. They were very professional SCAMMERS and must have done this many times. I filed a police report and the police said I was a victim of a 411 or 419 SCAM. I hope I get my money back I still have all my paper work Thank God.

How do you know the forms received in the mail from remissions are legitimate? I'm very reluctant to send my social # as everything seemed so legitimate when I was scammed in the first place.

It's good that you're being careful about sharing your Social Security number. In this situation, the Department of Justice (DOJ)  needs your Social Security number. DOJ must check with the Treasury Offset Program to verify that you don't owe any money to the federal government. It needs your Social Security number to do that.

The FTC has a webpage with questions and answers about the refunds at FTC.gov/WU.  The FTC page has a link to the Gilardi claim-filing page. You must file your claim by February 12, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process.

The DOJ is asking for social security Nos. and I think if a victim owes Federal Taxes due to being scammed then the IRS should waive all interest that is owed to anyone being scammed. How did they know they were being scammed. They should only charge the base amount of the taxes owed. The DOJ should take this into consideration

My Grandma has been scammed, and sent a few thousand dollars through Western Union, but it was after the January 2017 end date. Is there any help for people after that date?

She can report the scam to the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 and to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information she gives the FTC will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Does this also count if you used WU to purchase a product and later found out they were counterfeit?

The refunds cover many scams, including internet scams, when you didn't receive the item(s) you tried to buy online. Read more about the refunds and start to file a claim at FTC.gov/WU.

I was the victim of a scam in 2007, where funds were sent via Western Union. I am not sure I still have the paperwork in my files, is there anything I can do if I do not have the receipt, etc.?

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.

What relief is available for those people scammed during during August of 2017?

You can report that to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint and to the wire transfer company you used. Call the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 or MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 1‑800‑926‑9400. If the scammer contacted you through a website, for example a dating website or product sales website, you can report the problem to that site.

I filled out paperwork for a claim last year before the deadline and I haven't heard anything. I am signed up for updates and have heard nothing.

The claim process with the US Department of Justice started in November 2017. If you want to ask for a refund from the US Department of Justice, go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process.

It might take one year or longer to process and verify all the requests and determine who is eligible to get a payment. The US Department of Justice mailed more than 500,000 claim forms and letters to people who reported losses. Many other people who did not receive letters may file requests for refunds.

Upload documents for my own time to time money order

What happens or what is my recourse if I don't have exact dates or receipts. I filed a report once through the government fraud website but can't remember that date either. I have been trying to search through old email accounts and phone messages, but no luck there either. What do I do in this case?

If you sent money to a scammer via Western Union, file a claim, even if you don’t have paperwork related to your money transfer. You may still be eligible for a payment. You can tell what you remember, like where you were when you sent the money, or why you sent the money.

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

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