VIDEO: Victims of Scammers Using Western Union Now Eligible To File Claim For Refund

By  //  November 27, 2017

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may take a year to process, verify refund claims

ABOVE VIDEO: Those who sent money to scammers through Western Union’s money transfer system can now file a claim to get their money back. If you lost money through Western Union wire fraud, you can do the same by following the tips below from the Federal Trade Commission. 

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION — Last January, Western Union Co, the world’s biggest money-transfer company, agreed to pay $586 million and admitted to turning a blind eye as criminals using its service for money laundering and fraud.

The Federal Trade Commission has now set up page to help people who lost some or all of their money in a wire fraud transaction using Western Union.

It is important to know that you must submit a claim by February 12, 2018.

To submit your claim, start with one of these two options:

CLICK HERE if you have a pre-filled claim form. CLICK HERE if you lost money but DID NOT get a claim form.

What is this case about?

For years, many people who lost money to scams sent their payment through a Western Union wire transfer. Scammers contacted people and promised prizes, loans, jobs, discounted products or other financial rewards in exchange for money upfront.

They also pretended to be family members in need of cash or law enforcement officers demanding payment. The scammers told people to send money through Western Union. No one received the cash, prizes or services they were promised.

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.

What is the deadline to submit a claim?

You must submit a claim by February 12, 2018.

Who is eligible to submit a claim?

If you sent money to a scammer through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you can submit a claim.

Will I definitely get my money back?

Each person’s claim must be verified by DOJ.

If your claim is verified, the amount you get will depend on how much you lost and the number of people who submit valid claims.

Only the amount you transferred via Western Union is eligible for a refund. Other expenses like Western Union fees, other losses, or transfers sent through other businesses are not eligible for a refund.

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When will I get a payment?

It may take up to a year to process and verify people’s claims and determine who is eligible to get a payment. We will update this page when we have more information.

Why does the claim form ask for my Social Security number?

Before sending you a refund, 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. If you owe money, your refund amount could be reduced by the amount you owe.

What if I do not have a Social Security number?

If you have an ITIN, do not check the box that says “Check this box if you do not have a Social Security number.” Simply enter your ITIN instead of a Social Security number.

If you do not have an ITIN or a Social Security number, check the box that says you do not have a Social Security number. When asked for a reason, you can explain that you’re not a US citizen, or whatever other explanation applies.

Can I submit a claim if I didn’t report the fraud to Western Union?

Yes, if you meet the other eligibility requirements.

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What kinds of scams are covered by these refunds?

A wide variety of scams may be covered by this settlement, including:

  • Online or internet scams – you did not receive the items you tried to buy online
  • Lottery or prize promotion scams – you were told you won a lottery or sweepstakes, but never got the prize
  • Emergency or grandparent scams – you sent money to someone pretending to be a relative or friend in urgent need of money
  • Advance-fee loan scams – you paid upfront fees, but did not get the promised loans
  • Online dating or romance scams – you sent money to someone who created a fake profile on a dating or social networking website.

I sent money a few times to a scam. Can I submit a claim for all of those transfers?

Yes. If you sent multiple money transfers related to a scam, you can file claims for all the money transfers that occurred between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017.

I don’t have my paperwork anymore. Can I still submit a claim?

Yes. 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.

My parents lost money in a money transfer scam. Can I file a petition for them?

Everyone must file his/her own claim. However, if you represent an estate or have power of attorney for your parent(s), you can provide those documents along with the claim.

Where can I get more information?

For the latest information about remission process, you can CLICK HERE sign up for email updates about the Western Union refund program or call the administrator at 1-844-319-2124.

CLICK HERE for more information from the Federal Trade Commission.

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