Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III and the Federal Trade Commission are reminding consumers to file claims related to $586 million settlement between Western Union Company, the FTC, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Consumers who lost money to scammers who told them to pay via Western Union’s money transfer system between Jan. 1, 2004 and Jan. 19, 2017, can now file a claim to get their money back by going to http://www.ftc.gov/WU before Feb.
In January 2017 Western Union Company agreed to pay $586 million to resolve charges brought by the FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice. The FTC alleged that fraudsters were able to use Western Union’s money transfer system to get payments from their victims, even though the company was aware of the problem and received hundreds of thousands of complaints about fraud-induced money transfers made for fraudulent lottery and prizes, family emergencies, advance-fee loans, online dating, and other scams. The company also allegedly failed to promptly discipline problem Western Union agents, and failed to have effective anti-fraud policies and procedures.
Some people who have already reported their losses to Western Union, the FTC, or another government agency will receive a form in the mail from the claims administrator, Gilardi & Co. The form will have a Claim ID and a PIN number to use when filing a claim online. Gilardi was hired by the Justice Department, which is responsible for returning victims’ money as part of its settlement with Western Union.
Filing a claim is free, so consumers should not pay anyone to file a claim on their behalf. No one associated with the claims process will ever call to ask for consumers’ bank account or credit card number.
Affected consumers should visit http://www.ftc.gov/WU to file claims, learn more, or get updates on the claims process. The filing deadline is Feb. 12.