Over the past few years, it is no secret that scams have become more and more frequent. One of the most prominent ways for scammers to take advantage of consumers is to ask for money transfers. Some of them used Western Union for this purpose.
If you have been the victim of a scam between January 1, 2004, and January 19, 2017, and sent payment through Western Union, you can now get your money back as long as you file your claim before or on February 12, 2018.
The FTC reached a settlement in a lawsuit brought against Western Union earlier this year. The settlement requires that Western Union return $586 million to consumers, as WU hadn’t protected people from fraud or disciplined problem agents.
Here is what you need to know in order to get your money back:
- If you have already filed a claim with the FTC, Western Union, or government agency, a claim form is likely coming in the mail, as they were sent on November 13, 2017, by Gilardi & Co. A claim can be filed online using the PIN and Claim ID that are printed in the letter.
- Haven’t filed a claim yet or receive a letter in the mail? No problem. Head to FTC.gov/WU to get the claim started.
- Documentation is required to start a new claim or adjust the information on a claim that has already been filed. Provide any documentation about the money transfer, along with any information you can remember about the transfer. No documentation? Fill out the form as accurately as possible and the Department of Justice (DOJ) will attempt to validate the Western Union transaction.
- Filing a claim requires providing a social security number (SSN). To ensure proper internet safety, the FTC has a secure Western Union claim website, which can be found here: https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/refunds/western-union-settlement-faqs
As always, scammers will be trying to take advantage of these refunds. Never give out credit or bank information over the phone, don’t pay to file a claim as this is free, and no one from the FTC will ever call you.
All-in-all this process could take up to a year for validation and return of money. Have patience as the DOJ does its best to return your money.
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