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Questions on your money back from Western Union?

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Since we told you it’s time to ask for your money back from Western Union’s settlement with the FTC, we’ve gotten some questions about who can make a claim, when, and how it works. Here are some answers.

  • If you lost money to a scammer who had you pay using Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you can file a claim. You have until February 12, 2018, to file your claim.
  • You do not have to pay to get your money back. To file a claim, you have to give your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on the claim form. But nobody will call you to ask for those numbers, or for your bank account or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer, so tell the FTC right away.
  • If you don’t have either a Social Security number or an ITIN, check the box that says so. When asked for a reason, you can explain that you’re not a U.S. citizen – or whatever other explanation applies.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is managing the claims process through the company they hired, Gilardi & Co. Your claim will go to Gilardi, but we suggest you start at FTC.gov/WU, which will link you to the claims website.
  • If you had reported your loss to Western Union, the FTC, or another government agency earlier, you might have gotten a pre-filled claim form in the mail. But even if you didn’t, you can still file a claim.
  • To prove how much you lost, it helps to have documentation – like a receipt or transfer send form. If you don’t have those, file anyway. Give as much information as you can about your wire transfer and the money you lost, including when and why you sent it. That will help DOJ validate your claim.
  • We know it’s not that safe to send your Social Security number through the mail to someone you’ve never heard of. That’s why we suggest filing your claim online, starting at FTC.gov/WU. But if you got a claim form in the mail from Gilardi and you want to return it by mail, the only address to send it to is: United States v. The Western Union Company, PO Box 404027, Louisville, KY 40233-4027.
  • If you have power of attorney for someone, or you represent their estate, you can file a claim on their behalf.
  • How much money you get back depends on how many people file a claim, and how many claims DOJ can validate.
  • It might take a year for DOJ to process all the claims and send out checks.

 

Check FTC.gov/WU for updates and answers to other questions.

 

Comments

What happens if you were scammed after Jan 2017?

You can report a scam to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. You can provide information about the company, what it promised, and what you received. The information you give goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

If you used a money transfer service, you can also report it to the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 or MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 1‑800‑926‑9400.

I has been scam on line and person has my info and ask me for money and never has give out my info online it was from imposter I did not know can I get my money back?

Is there no monetary compensation for victims after January, 2017? What's the rationale for this window?

People who sent money to a scammer through Western Union after January 19, 2017 are not covered by the FTC settlement with Western Union. You can report a problem to the WU Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 and to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

I am from Canada am I still able to file?

Yes, you are able to file if you are from Canada. The remission website  says 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 process of filing a claim. You must file by May 31, 2018.

I received a document because I clearly remember being deceived by Western Union and the destination of my money that was STOLEN! I’m an impecunious single mother who immediately sent in my paperwork over 7 months ago. I have had identity theft issues before so I was too incredulous to put in my social security number. I took a picture of the document that I mailed in if you would like to reference them. How long will it REALLY TAKE for you to reimburse me for my losses? You sure did receive a lot of money and I don’t want a wall in our country but I just got a great job in publishing so if I don’t find a deposit or check in my mailbox soon I’m going to call you out because this has been going on too long! If it was in the hands of a lawyer and not the DOJ everyone would have gotten paid by now. DOJ? What does that really mean?

DOJ is the United States Department of Justice.

I sent a claim in that sais United States V.The Western Union Company PO BOX 404027 Louisville, KY 40233-4027 i have not hear from them the amount was $499.00 i got the claim and sent it back

The US Department of Justice hired Gilardi & Co to manage the refund process. Gilardi & Co sent letters to some people and asked them to send information about their claims.

If you get a letter from Gilardi & Co and send the information they ask for, it can help Gilardi & Co evaluate your claim for a refund.

Click on www.FTC.gov/WU to see the FTC page about the Western Union refunds.

You already told me my claim could be be paid back to me, even though I gave you clear cut information on the theft, including personal information on the person. So I have accepted your answer. and threw out all paperwork in discuss.

Please read the questions and answers at FTC.gov/WU.

Before you can get a refund, your claim must be verified by the Department of Justice. If your claim is verified, the amount you get will depend on how much you lost and the total number of people who submit valid claims.

Only the money you transferred through Western Union is eligible for a refund. Money you paid for Western Union fees is not eligible for a refund. Money you sent through other wire transfer businesses or lost in other ways is not eligible for a refund.

Ms. Small, I find it unethical that we are not entitled to reimbursement for the astronomical fees that Western Union charged. As reported... "even in the face of obvious evidence that many of its own agents were complicit, Western Union ignored it while pocketing massive cash.” I believe that Western Union fees should be addressed. This is beyond wrong, and I find it unacceptable. The rich stay rich as per usual.

I'm wondering how DOJ is verifying the claims. People who provided a Western Union tracking number on their claim form are reporting they received a letter stating they're required to provide a copy of the transfer or their claim will be denied. Doesn't Western Union keep copies as part of their business records? Can't they verify the transaction somehow?

I was a victim of the Western Union scam, but do not have any documentation. I know the Western Union which I sent money from in New Haven,CT

You can file a claim if you don't have documents. Give as much information as you can about your wire transfer and the money you lost. Tell when you sent the money and why. Those details will help the Department of Justice validate your claim.  To start, go to FTC.gov/WU.

You must file by February 12, 2018.

When im getting my money back

It may take up to a year to process and verify people’s claims and determine who is eligible to get a payment. Go to FTC.gov/WU for more information and news.

One-year that is unreal. It should be verified upon entry. What about those that were sent a letter indicating the fraud and the amount and the claim data are they waiting a year as well?

All claims are reviewed as they are received. It may take up to a year to process and verify people’s claims and determine who is eligible to get a payment. Go to FTC.gov/WU for more information and news.

what if the date of the scam was 8/23/17 ???

You can't file a claim through this refund process for money lost on 8/23/17. You can report the scam to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint, and notify the wire transfer company you used. You can call the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 or MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 1‑800‑926‑9400.

I lost $4500 and the money with your scam

If you lost the 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.

Why do we need to give our social security numbers if you have the receipt I've been scammed and have filed with western union too.

You must give your Social Security Number because, before the Department of Justice (DOJ) can send a refund, DOJ must check with the Treasury Offset Program to verify that you don't owe any money to the federal government. DOJ needs your Social Security number to do the verification.

already been scammed once how do we know that I won't be scammed again by this program . I don't owe any taxes to the government .. .

If you don't want to send your Social Security Number on a claim form by postal mail, the FTC suggests that you file your claim online, start at FTC.gov/WU.

Re: Scam I was scammed on 04/27/2017 for $1,330 via Western Union and reported the larceny to the Troy, NY Police Dept. The date of crime is not included in the present WU settlement cited in your email. Is there another action pending to include my date of theft? What action can I take now?

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

I sent money to the AZ prison system from 2004 until 2016 and at times it got loss.

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 begin.

We were scammed and asked not only to send through Western Union but by Green Dot Cards and by Money Grams. Is there any hope of those monies being retrieved?

This refund process is related only to money you lost to a scammer between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017 and sent by Western Union. You must file a claim by February 12, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process.

 

You can report problems with a MoneyGram transfer to MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 1‑800‑926‑9400.

There is an actual attorney on TV in California taking on clients for this exact purpose. So sad when they can get it for free

Christina, Thank you for your comment. Could you send a copy of your comment about the attorney to bloginfo@ftc.gov?

I recently was scammed out of $3000.00 by sending five wires on WU btween 12/13/17 and 1/2/18. Any chance of getting some money back?

 You can report the scam to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint and to Western Union's Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492. The information you give the FTC goes into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations nationwide.

sorry before was not right adrress. Well that's a good news I'll see what else I have left and will send via mail. Thank you very much for the good news

Noticed that you said the amount you get back depends on the number of valid claims and on whether DoJ can validate your claim. That implies victims will not get back everything they lost and that the amount being refunded is a set amount. That said, will the funds be doled out equally to all valid claims or will it be proportional to what you lost (eg someone who lost $9000 would get back more than someone who lost $1000, but neither would get back the full amount they lost)?

Western Union paid $586 million to settle charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. Learn more about the refund process at FTC.gov/WU and the Department of Justice Remission site.

My mother was scammed and we sent in all the prerequisite paperwork. Western Union then sent an email saying that they needed one more piece of information which we sent. Now it's email after email of them saying they don't have everything. It's very clear they are trying to keep putting us off until we give up. Who do we contact to intervene on our behalf? There seems to be nobody actually forcing Western Union to pay the money they agreed to pay.

Are you getting email from Western Union or from the Gilardi & Co., the company that is working with the US Department of Justice to verify claims? 

If you are communicating with Gilardi & Co., they are asking for information so they can verify the claim. It may take up to a year to process and verify people’s claims and determine who is eligible to get a payment. No one has gotten a payment yet.

My husband are being scammed for $38,000, we received a mail that our papers are not enough, they need more proof from us, but we lose some of the papers from moving, and we ask western union for all the money transaction my husband made, and it never came. I don't want to gave up, but my husband tired of it anymore.

Gilardi & Co. works for the US Department of Justice. It is helping the US Department of Justice with the refund process. Gilardi & Co. asked some people to send more proof. You can tell Gilardi about this problem with Western Union, and give them the papers you have now.

You can send email to Gilardi & Co. to say Western Union did not send the papers you need. Send email to Gilardi at info@WesternUnionRemission.com.

Or, write a letter to Gilardi at:

United States v. The Western Union Company
P.O. Box 404027
Louisville, KY 40233-4027

My mother gave my brother $6,500 to pay to Western Union. My brother has since deceased, but he is the one who filled out the Western Union paperwork. Can she file a claim using his SS #? Or can she use her SS # and explain that she is the one who actually paid the money?

The questions answers at FTC.gov/WU say you can file a claim for a family member, friend or client if you represent their estate, or if you have a power of attorney for the person making the claim. The other questions and answers at FTC.gov/WU explain more about the refund process.

Not only was I scammed when I had sent $1,100 through Western Union to a “Mule” in Georgia, am I able to file a claim for the $4,695 I had sent to what I thought was a real person. Sent it from my bank to a bank in California in which another “Mule” picked up?

Read about the kinds of scams covered by the Western Union refunds at FTC.gov/WU.

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.

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