Getting your money back from Western Union

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Did you lose money to a scammer who had you pay using Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017? If so, you can now ask for your money back – and you have until February 12, 2018 to file your claim.

Earlier this year, we told you about the FTC’s settlement with Western Union, which agreed to return $586 million to people to settle the FTC’s charges that Western Union hadn’t adequately protected people from fraud, and didn’t properly discipline problem agents.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is handling the refunds – or “remission,” as they call it. Here’s what you need to know:

  • 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 were just mailed today and will come from Gilardi & Co, which is the company DOJ hired to handle the claims. You can file your claim online – just use the Claim ID and the PIN that are on the form you get in the mail.
  • If you didn’t already report your loss, or you don't get a claim form in the mail, go online to file your claim. Start at FTC.gov/WU to get to the claims website.
  • If you’re putting in a new claim, or changing the pre-filled amount on the claim form you got in the mail, you’ll be asked for documentation. Upload – or send copies of – the receipts or transfer send forms you have, and give as many details as you can remember about the transfer. If you don’t have documentation, you can still complete the form and give as much information as you have. DOJ will use the information you give them to try to validate your Western Union money transfer.
  • The claim forms ask for your Social Security number (SSN). That’s because, before they can send you a check, DOJ is required to see whether you owe money to the US government. For that they need your SSN. That’s why we’re suggesting filing your claim on the secure website.

You do not have to pay to get your money back. Don’t pay anyone who says they can file a claim for you. And nobody will ever call you to ask for your bank account or credit card number. It’s free to file your claim form, and you can only do it online or by mail. Find the claim form and the only real address that accepts claims at FTC.gov/WU.

And then: patience. It will take DOJ up to a year to validate all the claims it gets and return money to people. Check FTC.gov/WU for updates.

Infographic of ghow to get a refund from Western Union

Comments

The FTC can't get information for you. You must submit the money transfer paperwork you have and a claim. The questions and answers at FTC.gov/WU explain more.

 

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.

 

You can submit a claim even if you didn't report the fraud to Western Union when it happened. You can submit a claim if you don't have the paperwork related to the money transfer. You might be eligible for a payment.

IF I USED A BANK TO HANDLE THE WESTERN UNION TRANSFER TO COSTA RICA CAN I STILL MAKE A CLAIM AND HOW DO I GET A CLAIM FORM

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. That page has a button that says "I lost money but did not get a claim form." It button links to the Department of Justice's page where you can submit a claim.

I was scammed a few years ago and used western union to transfer monies. I reported to my local police department and they notified western I union. Would this suffice as evidence. I am not a us citizen. I did file a claim and pin. Is this a scam?

If you want to request a refund, you must file a request. You do not have to be a United States citizen, or be in the United States, to file a claim.

 

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.

Good morning, I have to say that I often wondered if anything would ever come of this. Thank you to everyone involved in trying to make a really bad thing into something good.

can I get back my money from the scammer?

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 got a letter friday, and I wonder if this is another fraud? Since they ask for documentation and there I have to give my account number . I called Western Union and he was so angry because he didnt understand my question. So I got an emailadress I could send my question, but they havent answered yet. So I ask here. Is it safe to fill out the letter and send? This is not another Scam?

If you lost money to a scammer, and you already reported the loss to Western Union, the FTC, or another government agency, you might get a claim form and a letter in the mail. The letter and the claim forms from Gilardi & Co. are not a scam. The US Department of Justice hired that company to handle the claim process. 

You can file your claim on the FTC website at FTC.gov/WU.

The FTC has information about the Western Union refunds at FTC.gov/WU. The information page explains that the Department of Justice needs your Social Security number when you file your claim for a refund, because DOJ must check to verify that you don't owe money to the federal government. It needs your Social Security number to do that.

My mother got scammed this month December 2017 so if you can only file for the time period from January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017 how can she get her momey back. She filed a claim with WU and the police dept in her home town.

Your mother could also report the scam to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. When she files a complaint she gives law enforcement information to help with investigations.

Hello Bridget - our mother got scammed as well via WU from Sep to Oct 2006. Sadly, she passed away in Sep 2010. My brother and I are her heirs. We are wondering if we could file this claim on behalf of her estate? If so, how do we file on her behalf? Is there another form that we could use - i.e. filing a claim on behalf of someone? Many thanks!

Go to FTC.gov/WU for information about the claim filing process. The page has this information:

You can file a claim for a family member, friend or client if you:

  • you represent an estate,
  • you have power of attorney for the claimant, or
  • you are an attorney, and provide a signed document that says you represent the claimant and have permission to file on his or her behalf.

When you file the claim, provide documents that support your  role. Be sure to show the claimant’s Social Security number or ITIN with the claim.

Thank u. I dont need Social Security number since Im not an american citizen. It stands in the letter.

I lost several thousands of dollars from these scammers before my bank and I realized the money orders I was cashing then wiring them the money via western union I had to pay my bank back because I received cash for the money orders because they were made out to me. I did of course report it to the police and nothing ever happened except my reputation being slammed because workers at the bank thought I was frauding them I never received a claim form in the mail so I did fill out the online form and received a confirmation number. However,I called the company in charge of this and they say they did not receive my claim form. So I'm scared its happening all over again I've been a victim of identity theft every since this scam took place and it keeps happening. Its very bad and I need legal help

The FTC has information about the claim process at FTC.gov/WU.  You can file a claim from the FTC page, and get contact information for the refund administrator.

My elderly mother was a victim and received a claim form in the mail. However, the claim form identifies an amount that is less than half the actual amount sent via Western Union as part of the scam. The total was sent in multiple payments/transmissions all through Western Union. Where was the amount identified on the claim form derived from? She no longer has any of the paperwork to support the claim of the additional money. Are Western Union files available to search for documentation of her transfers by her or any government body?

Some people who already reported their fraud losses to Western Union, the FTC, or another government agency received claim forms in the mail. 

Please go to FTC.gov/WU for more information about the claim process. Your mother can go to the FTC page to begin filing her claim online.

If you don’t have documentation, you can still complete the form and give as much information as you have. DOJ will use the information you give them to try to validate your Western Union money transfer.  If you file a petition for remission detailing the loss amount, DOJ’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section will compare the requests to Western Union’s records and decide whether to grant the petition.

I lost a huge amount of money $13500. But I lost few on moneygram as well. Is there a settlement from moneygram. I really appreciate this information.

No, there is not a settlement from MoneyGram. If you want to report a problem, you can contact  MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 1‑800‑926‑9400.

What if this happened in October and November of THIS year?

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

If you lost money to a scammer in October or November 2017, and paid by Western Union, you can cal the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 and explain what happened. You can also report it to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information will go into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

This makes me feel like i and others have not been forgotten..i will check this out ..thanks!!

I've have filled out and returned the claim form mailed to me, when will refunds be mailed out?

People can continue filing claims until February 12, 2018.

It may take up to a year to process and verify people’s claims and determine who is eligible to get a payment. The FTC will update the FTC.gov/WU page when we have more information.

Hello, I received a claim form today. Honestly, I'm a bit surprised to receive such a letter after this long. After googling, I came here. However, my bogus $1200 computer purchase was from ~11 years ago. With no hope of getting the money back by then, I didn't keep the receipt and unfortunately my e-email from those days is dead. Basically, I do not have any documentation to back my complaint after 11 years. How's this going to work? I do not want to be a victim again.

I need a claim form. I have too many mtc# to listed. I lost $1748.00

If you need a claim form, go online to file your claim. Start at FTC.gov/WU. You can get to the claims website from the FTC page. When you get to the claims website, you can list the MTCN and how much money you lost. List all the wire transfers you made within and outside of the United States through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017.

You must file a claim before February 12, 2018.

How about people who were scammed after 19th of January 2017? I want also fil the remission form, and can not. What should I do now?
Is it fair that only people who were scammed until the beginning of this year can apply for remission? I don't have money for living because of scammers, I was so stupid and naive.

You aren't eligible to file a remission form, but you can report the scam to the FTC at  ftc.gov/complaint and to the Call Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492.

My son filled out my info on his phone for me. How can I find out if it went "thru"..? I was scammed out of $ 750.00 thru Western Union . I got a claim form in the mail..my son supposedly filled it out on line. Help !!

You could send email to the administrator of the remission fund at info@westernunionremission.com (link sends e-mail).

I noticed WU date span for claiming scam is only January 1, 2004 through January 19, 2017. I was?am a college student during that time and a victim of scam on March 14, 2017. Will WU still honor claim?

The refunds related to Western Union's settlement with the FTC are for money sent between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017. You can report a scam that happened after that date to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint and to Western Union's Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492.

i lost 2,000 to a scammer and western union being the transferring agent. hopefully this will be my compensation. and shame on you WU for knowing!!

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 will not automatically get a refund.

 

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

I lost a total of $54,000 to these criminals. Only $35,000 was in WU transfers ad the rest of the money was sent in wire transfers. How I wish I could claim the additional money so I could have my savings back!!

I am gathering up all my documents to send you.i just won't to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.im poor.disabled.and had to even borrow some money to send these people.i will be mailing all my paper work in.God bless y'all for being here for the little people.

I have filled in the claim and have been sent a claim number. But I have more info and transaction numbers.I sent that to westerunionsubmission .com, but all they said was fill out the form. What I really want them to do is forward my info to the investigation team. I don't know if they did it. Can you give me the email of the investigators so I can forward it myself Many thanks

You must send in a claim form if you want a refund. You must submit the claim by February 12, 2018.

You can call the Refund Administrator at 844-319-2124.  Ask how to add the information and transaction numbers to your claim. If you need help, send another comment to this blog.

I had send $1900 over to México back in 2008 regarding a family member that was kidnap which is was it true they’ll kip calling me and they told me that if I was check by someone if I would let the police call they will kill him, ofter I had pay twice two payments of 900 usd. this is my number 432xxxxxxx thanks

Did you send the money by Western Union? You can file a claim to get a refund. You must file before February 18, 2018.

File a claim to get a refund at FTC.gov/WU or en espanol.

Wow Christmas time and I got my letter! I was scammed $2500 from overseas that a friend was in dire straights. His email account was hacked. I felt like a fool to send it but at the moment was concerned for his safety. This is wonderful. Obviously, WU did not ask for identification on the other side.

Now that you have the letter, you must file your claim by February 12, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process.

I lost over $2000.00 to scammers it would be nice to see a refund on my losses, Western Union did nothing after I call and reported to them.

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.

What if you lost $ but no-longer have reciepts or phone records/emails from the crocks?

You can submit a claim even if you don't have paperwork.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 must file your claim by February 12, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process.

Got my letter in November, and did the online filing. Was wondering why it's going to take over a year to get any kind of refund, not that I'm not grateful that something finally has happen with the fraud ; got scammed a couple years ago, but...yikes a year or longer before we get some, all or part of what we lost back. Well it will be nice to have what I lost back regardless. Oh, just wondering what if I or someone else that has filed happen to move before this long wait is over?

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