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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


I finally received a response a week after the 2 of August, now I was told that a check had been mailed to me back in March and they show it as uncashed. I replied stating that I never received anything and asked that they re-issue. To date I have not received another response nor a re-issued check.

I called last week. They said they weren’t reviewing individual claims and paying people out, they had to go through all the claims so they could distribute the funds evenly. So why in the world did the first group get payments before the second round of claims were reviewed. So frustrating. So some people may get 100 % if you were in the first round and some may just get whatever random percentage they decide on.

That is completely unfair!! I am awaiting my refund too.

I don't think they would dare to give 100% to the first group and a percentage to the rest. It would open a heck of a lawsuit for mismanagement. I do truly wish they would give updates as the progress.

This is so frustrating at least give a response to the documents that were sent in that it was received and being reviewed. The last proofs I sent in were September 2019. I had police reports and 1 receipt from western union from 2014 but the scam from 2005 was too old and western union didn’t keep records even that far back. Why include years in the suit that western union doesn’t have records of? Makes zero sense.

Looks like FTC has gone quite too I was relying on some answer and updates from FTC but nothing so far.
FTC please update us regarding our claim I think we all deserve to be updated with a honest answer.

Totally agree. It's been 5 months and no update. In fairness all claims should have been reviewed before checks were sent out. I did everything I was supposed to do and still nothing.

I still don’t get what the hold-up is. I know there are a TON of Claims, but if people have presented the proper back up, then why such the long amount of time? The end of 2020? I mean we submitted our claim (with backup) in 2018. Had everything in ON time. Now it sounds like the rest of the refunds are getting only a small percentage/part of what they lost!?!? I mean if there is a budget of a predetermined amount and then X amount of claims that need to have remission, then will future recipients now start getting ONLY a portion? Help! We are all looking for answers!

So what do we do when we don't get any answers from FTC, DOJ and Gilardi, is there a Lawyer who can advise us, just a thought.

This is crazy...a legal advocate would come in handy!

I believe that we need to start notifying our various Congressmen about this situation. We need our funds now, especially in this Covid 19 situation that we are now in. The time spent so far in almost unbelievable and very, unfair to the people.

I just filed a complaint with my senator. It will be 3 years in Nov. since I filed my claim. I did everything they asked, but can't get a straightforward answer on when we'll see our money - and it is our money.

I have found the people at Gilardi to be very helpful. I will wait patiently as long as it takes. This is a tremendous amount of information to be processed. I am just happy that something is being done.

I asked something similar but FTC refused to approve my post. I’m currently looking into that now. Gilardi & co llc have quite a few negative reviews.

Let’s do the math. $586 million settlement. First they said there was 180,000 claims. Then they said in March they were going to pay out 109,000 of those claims of $153 million. That’s an average payment of $1404.00 per claim. ($153 million ÷ 109 thousand claims.) That leaves 71,000 claims left and $433 million. That means an average payment of $6098.00 per claim. (433 million ÷ 71 thousand claims)
Remember this is only average, some people’s claims are a lot less then $6098 and some people’s claims are a lot more.
There is NO justifiable reason this should be taking OVER 3 years to resolve. At least give us the common courtesy of timely updates, not just one every six months. Stop playing this silly game of keeping us in the dark.

Please note that in March 2020, the US Department of Justice said it sent petitions for remission to over 500,000 potential victims of the Western Union fraud. 

When will the checks be issued? Thank you, Judy

Still waiting since 2017...

Hello, FTC, any updates????

I receive this morning an update by email that confirms my amount and they said this about the transmission of the mail letter and check :

"We are hoping to mail letters and checks in the third quarter."

Finally, something is moving folks!

Any chance did they say what year????

Nothing is moving. There has been no solid answer on the next round of distribution checks. People are being told different things and the website has not been updated. Almost 6 months later and still nothing. I'm pretty sure they have collected interest on these funds.

100% agree why would they want to distribute to anyone if they are earning big interest, they will try and hold on to the funds for as long as they could.

Hi FTC any updates

I received a letter in 2018 to file a claim agains Western Union, which I did, at that time, I provided the WU transaction numbers, and I got my WU claim number WUU-[number removed]. Then after a year or more I received an email requeting me the WU transaction numbers again, I had that information in my drive (for some uknown reason) that information was deleted and now after contacting WU for my transaction history they claim there is nothing under my name, I do have a written copy of my claim in Action Fraud, and I have my WU claim number, how can I see the report I submmited so I can get thos WU transactions numbers? I need help, because Wester Union info@ westernunionremission. com knows exactly my WU report number and and requested amount but not my WU transaction number. Please help.

Angelus -- Please give us a little more information. Who sent you the letter in 2018 and asked you to file the claim against Western Union?  And who sent the email that asked you to give the transaction numbers again? Thanks. 

People, we all need to start praying about our refunds. With the recent U.S.Postal service problems, now would be a very bad time for them to “mail” our checks. They might get “lost” in the mail. We really need to start praying “hard”. Perhaps God will hear our prayers and get these people to move on our behalf and keep our checks from being “lost” in the mail.

I have been calling this number 844-319-2124 , and was not getting any response rather it was question and answer. Where is my refund, how do I know if a cheque has been sent out to me? What of if my address has been changed?

Contact them at info @westernunionremission .com and tell them you need to update your address. That’s how I did it.

I am so happy, got a Mail that the Claim is sent to the DOJ with the whole amount.

Well they should send letters to everyone. This whole process is unfair and checks should not have been paid out till all claims were reviewed! Where are the rest of our status updates? No letter or check!

Def promising news!

Maybe you could do the rest of us a favor, let us know the date you got the notice and the date when you actually get a check. Thank you in advance. And did you call them or email them.

I got the Email last Friday 14th, i wait for the letter and the Check. I will let you know unil i receive it.

Hi there -
I was sent a form to sign based on a new amount. However I am in the UK and the date was only 1 week away to respond it appeared I only needed to sign if I disagreed with the amount and emailed you to advise this. As such since I have had no mail or check - please advise what happens now ?

The message you posted is on an FTC blog, but the FTC is not managing the refund process.

The US Department of Justice and Gilardi & Co are managing the refund process. Gilardi & Co. would send forms about the refund process, and you should contact Gilardi & Co. if you have questions about the forms and what happens next. 

I filled out a form online and sent in the Western Union receipts in late 2017 and never received a letter verifying an amount. Later, they asked for my social security number and correspondence to support the scam and that was turned in, but I still have not received a check or a letter verifying the amount.

I have called numerous times and they state that nothing else is needed on my end and is under final review for the DOJ. Any insight on why this process is taking so long? They last said that hopefully all claims will be reviewed before the end of the year and checks should soon follow.

FTC any reason(please give me the reason) why you have not posted my comments

This is a moderated blog. FTC staff review all comments we receive. The blog Comment Policy is posted above the box where you enter your comment. We will not post comments that do not comply with our Comment Policy. 

Dear FTC. Is it because I am asking you to be transparent.

Does anyone know if this is even a scam? I filled out the forms they sent years ago. They said the claim was a few thousand less then there records. I replied fine, just lets get this done, its been yrs. My husband passed, they requested and I sent certificate, marriage licence etc. Never heard back. Then sent a certified letter a few years ago. I never heard back. I tried the government and they did not have an answer for me. ???? Does someone know someone in Government that can find out or do something. I never received one more update from them..

Because of joint investigations by the FTC, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the U. S. Postal Inspection Service, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million and admitted to aiding and abetting wire fraud. DOJ is now using that money to provide refunds to people who were tricked into using Western Union to pay scammers. That refund program is not a scam. 

DOJ hired Gilardi & Co. to manage the refund process. In March, 2020, DOJ sent checks worth about $153 million to more than 109,000 people. That was the first round of payments. DOJ is still looking at the claims people sent, and it plans to send more payments. 

FTC. When do you plan to send more payments. I am just recovering from a bowel cancer operation and I hope I can get payment before I die.

I agree, it could be another scam because where ever they have deposited the money for distribution it is earning big interest. I think we should get a financial statement from DOJ and FTC which will show us the interest paid for the money.

I received a letter stating that I hadn’t cashed my check. Called to have it re-issued, & it’s been over 21 days. Is this timeframe normal?

I got a form for your company which I filled out and sent in way before the deadline. I agreed with the amount stated. I’ve called and only been told that you’ve received my form. No other info was given to me. I have not received any additional mail in regards to this matter. When will I know what is going on?

How do we find out what our status is on claims? Is there a place that we can go to like the IRS has that lets you check your refund status? This would surely cut down on the questions if we had a place that we could search the status.

I am my spouse beneficiary and sent over legal documentation along with the completed form. Am zi eligible to receive a check?

I was advised a few months ago will receive my refund in 120 days and that is way over 120 days ago. What is the approximate time frame I will receive my check?

How long will it take to do this Remission ? It was supposed to be 120 days, I feel cheated. Maybe 5000 dollars is not much, but I could use this money now in this difficult time.I am so angry.


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