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$153 million in Western Union refunds

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Refund checks worth about $153 million are going out to over 109,000 people who sent money to scammers through Western Union wire transfers. The $153 million is a portion of the money Western Union paid when it reached settlements with the FTC and Department of Justice and agreed to create a strong, anti-fraud program. Western Union also admitted to criminal violations in its settlement with the Department of Justice.

The first refunds are going to people who signed and returned a pre-filled claim form and agreed with the dollar amount stated on the form. The refund administrator, Gilardi & Co., is verifying claims that need additional information. Other people who filed claims will get refunds later this year.

The refund checks will come from “United States v. The Western Union Company.” If you’re in the US, you have to cash or deposit the check within 90 days. If you got a check but don’t agree with the amount, you can cash the check and contact Gilardi & Co. For more information about refunds, contact Gilardi & Co. at 844-319-2124 and go to Learn more from the FTC at Western Union Refunds.


Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


You can take the check to your bank and deposit the check to get the money into your personal account. If the check is void now, you can contact Gilardi & Co to send you a replacement check. This page shows the contact information for Gilardi & Co. Gilardi & Co. is the company that manages the refund process for the US Department of Justice.

Western Union is now playing this game that every time I call to obtain back up (for what I now need to resubmit) they say they cannot go back past five years. In 2017 I was able to obtain receipts from 2004. If my math is correct, that was 13 years ago. Now WU is stating that they cannot go back past the five years. I called up Western Union Remission and either I am put on hold, stating they can’t help me... OR they say the claim is under review. The site the reconsideration request option sometimes works, sometimes it doesn’t. Please help, FTC!!

I received a check, thanks::, its been 8 weeks and still not cleared. I think Huntington have stolen it. Remmission phone number is shut down. Huntington bank phone not working. It all feels like a con again. Gillardi staff reply with ridiculous "copy and paste " emails that never answer the question. If you get a check dont expect it to be cashed. Such a sorry position I find myself in.

I just checked the toll free number for the refund administrator, and it's working now. Call 844-319-2124.

Yes- I know what you mean about the “copy and paste” response. Ever notice that if you call them AND are actually successful in reaching a real live human, it seems like all their responses are either canned or there is like a half-minute pause before they can disseminate information??

Yes - exactly!!

There has been numerous of checks been already refunded to thousands of people and I been but I have not heard from anybody that is handling the refund I been waiting two and half years I turned all forms and records in before the deadline every time I I call a d talk to alive operator they don’t have no information

So were now on 2021 and they did not complete project. When are the rest of us going to get our money?

Western union says they cannot help. They don’t hold any transaction records beyond five years dating back. What can we do?

Me too! I’ve been told same thing. What gives?!

They told me the same thing. Not a thing past the 5 years. Unreal. Please advise, FTC! Also, I’ve gotten nowhere calling the toll free #. The questions are only covering the basics. At the end (like question 8) there is an option to hit 1 to speak w/a rep., but the reps give no answers; only rehearsed responses.

I have not been able to make any progress. I keep getting told by Western union that they only ‘keep records’ for 5 years. The BS detector goes off when I hear this. Gilardi co. will not help. They say I need the records. Does NOTHING to assist. Please! Where can I get more help? What about all the other claimants that are trying to recover receipts from, say 2010, 2012, 2014 etc???

I’ve had no luck in obtaining records from Western Union. They stand pat in telling me they cannot go back beyond five years. What a joke.

I’ve been dealing with the same issue - Western Union suddenly stating they cannot help me if the records requested are not within their five-year purview. I’ve been able to get records that were almost ten years old before, but now they state they do not retain any records past five years. That is not right. Contacted their executive office and Western Union stands firm that all records previous to five years are inaccessible. Have contacted the W.U. remission attorneys and no luck. Have left messages for case management team to call and no luck there. Additionally, I went ahead and called the DoJ and the same thing. They say I need to sort it out with the remission attorneys. It is a vicious cycle. I’m starting to think this is a complete sham.

I have been having the same issue with Western Union. I contact them, they send me, via encrypted email, forms to fill out. I wait for 21 days, only to be told they do not have access to this information. The records I need are from 2010. They only go back five years. I have even told WU it is for the class action settlement. They cannot help. No luck with their corporate, and I filed a complaint. What is the deal with Western Union? Why are they so completely unhelpful? Where can we get some answers? Please help!

Guess what? The number 844-319-2124, represented as the number to call to speak to "any available representative" is a crowning blow to this fraud. The number is a recording with frequently asked questions--no option to speak to a person or leave a message. It hangs up on you at the end.

I’ve had absolutely no luck in getting ANY answers. Hotline only has rehearsed answers

Western Union has been unhelpful as well. Say I can’t get the info I need from 2011.

Dept of Justice has no answers.

***What are the claimants supposed to do?***

I am in Australia. I was scammed a considerable amount which included approx AUD $40k through Western Union. I submitted my application and received regular correspondence from the Remission Administrator including a cheque for approx $4000 (10% of my losses)
in Sept 2020. This was for one of the 11 claims I made and it was indicated that the remainder of my claims had No Match to Western Union Records. I submitted a Reconsideration Request on the basis that all my applications and receipts had been included not just the one that had been approved. I subsequently confirmed that it had been received verbally with Maria by phone on the number on the website etc. Last week I received an email from Ms Yogi advising that my request had been denied.
I have since made numerous calls to the number 844 319 2124 and each time receive the recorded message response with FAQ’s and then the call is ended. I have also responded to the email twice. I am at a complete loss as to how to resolve this matter

Just spoke with somebody today on the number (I've been checking every couple weeks). Originally they targeted to get this closed out at the end of last year. Now, it's looking like March will be the next disbursement... I like many others filed January of 2018 so three years now?

Do I report my refunds as income on my 2020 tax return?

The frequently asked questions on the Gilardi & Co website says: A Form-1099 or other tax form is not included with the payment.  If you have any questions about potential tax issues as a result of this award, we recommend that you consult a professional tax consultant. We cannot provide you with tax advice and your inquiries on that subject will not receive a response

When are the rest of us going to get our checks? There has been no update since September 2020?

I am also waiting on my check and keep getting the runaround. I would just appreciate an honest update!

I filed my claim for this refund before the deadline. I left the US in 2018 so my mail has been forwarded to another relative's US address since then. They were sorting out a pile of mail to throw away today and they found the letter with my refund check but it says it needed to be deposited by the end of 2020. What can I do in this case? Please help me.

Please contact Gilardi & Co., the redress administrator, and ask what you can do.

It's now Feb 2021. When are the rest of us going to get our checks? I'm tired of being told to be patient. Those of us that did what we were supposed to with the required proof should have been paid by now.

Can someone from the FTC please advise on what to do about not being able to access the information we need from Western union because they only go back 5 years. I’ve already called and emailed Gilardi with no answers. Please help!!! Does this mean we are out of luck if we can’t obtain the numbers from Western union????

That is so infuriating! I’ve talked with Western Union - they say they cannot give me what I need. They only keep records dating back five years and anything before that has been destroyed. What are we supposed to do now for a reconsideration request? Gilardi Co. is of absolutely no help.

Tell them you need it for the Western Union Remission Settlement. They originally told me the same thing a few years ago. When I told them I needed it for the class action lawsuit they were able to get the information for me. My oldest claim that they found was dated April 27, 2009. Good luck

@hockey4life2086 - I did tell them and they said they still couldn’t help. Their receipts prior to five years are gone. I don’t know what to do anymore. This is so frustrating!!

I would keep trying. Another thing is have WU check for different spellings of your name. First time they ran a check on my name Michael (last name) And it didnt seem like they had all the transactions. I told them to also run a check on my name Mike (last name). Then they found a lot more. Good luck

The very obvious answer to this question is "YES", but they won't tell you that.
You have to work it out for yourself

Ve now been told by W.U. that they don’t go back in holding transaction records past five years. What gives?

I submitted all my claims in February 2018. I am still waiting for my check. Why this delay?

Update February 5, 2020. DOJ in conjunction with USPIS and the Remission Administrator continues to review Petitions for Remission and Reconsideration Requset forms from potential victims of the Western Union fraud and anticipates authorizing compensation for the remaining eligible victims prior to year end.

Note the date of the 'update". That would mean they're severely behind. Incompetence thy name is the Western Union Remission.

I am so confused with the latest "Update". Does it mean the year's end for 2020, Financial years end or year's end for any year to come so long as it is at the end of that year.
Also i thought Companies had to keep records for 7 years legally for Tax purposes, so why is W U saying only 5 years. Perhaps COVID-19 has something to do with the delay.

What’s going on? Western Union says they don’t keep receipts from more then five years ago? I was able to get records from 2009 in 2018. Now they can’t help me in getting my other receipts which are mostly from 2011-2012? This is a complete run-around and nobody at the Remission company can help. I think this is now turning into a scam too!

Just found out from western union that they discard records from 2016 and prior. How are we to get anything we need to complete for this claim process?

What’s going on with Western Union and not being able to get records?

Today at 5:05 pm EST, I received an email stating "Additional decisions are anticipated to be completed by the end of March 2021". Until I have a check in my hand, I'm going to stay skeptical.

How I understand you.... I loose the truck of my check : I was in the second group of the refund... I only know my check was sent maybe in november or dicember but I didn't received jet. Maybe it's blocked on italian post..
Where nothing works!..and covid cause more delay.
Westerunion remission don't give me news, no one help me... I search everywhere my check ...and I don't know what have to think and do.
Time only pass...There's no end to my problem and sufference!!!

Yes, I’d be skeptical too !

Cyn, thank you for that information about March being another possible release date. They did say a release was going out in Sept. 2020 and it did, as I received a partial remittance. My guess is that Covid may have caused a delay. Another guess is, if indeed the DOJ is 'still reviewing' (as was in my case), at least supposedly, if you think about some of the headlines for the last four years, they may have had more, uh, shall we say, more well-known time-consuming, maybe complicated, pressing investigations to look into or weigh in on. Idk. But, " the end of the year was what they hoped to make another determination", was what they told me when I called for info back in Nov. So, am praying for a miracle for all of us waiting and in great need to hear something fairly soon, like THIS March(?) or April.

When will they be issuing checks again cause I has a claim for $6,500. they overlooked completely. Have written them 3 times and sent all the information which it was on my claim form. Why did they make this mistake?

Can somebody from the FTC please update us on the status of this? It looks as though a lot of us are still waiting and now unable to work with Western Union.

The form I received asked for a social security number as part of the information for payback . That caused me pause. Did other people provide that as part of submitting for remission of funds?

The Frequently Asked Questions on the site explain that you must give your SSN so the federal Treasury Offset Program can check to see if you have certain debts before you get a payment.

It's 2021 i didn't know about the refund page FTC vs western union and moneygram until the deadlines to get back money had passed. I've filed a complaint with FTC, reported fraud western union and moneygram can I still be refunded? What do I need to do to get refunded? Is there a claim form I need to fill out? Who do I talk to?

The claim form asks for a social security number. Given that these people have already been victims of fraud, is that really necessary? How do you know the claim form is genuine?


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