WASHINGTON D.C. – Approximately $147 million is being mailed to 33,000 consumers in the second distribution of refunds resulting from actions brought against Western Union. The $147 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 FTC’s complaint against Western Union alleged that for many years, Western Union was aware that fraudsters around the world used the company’s money transfer system to bilk consumers, and that some Western Union agents were complicit in the frauds. The FTC’s complaint alleged that Western Union failed to put in place effective anti-fraud policies and procedures and to act promptly against problem agents.
These refunds are going to people in the US and other countries, including many older adults who lost money to grandparent, lottery, sweepstakes, or romance scams. They will get compensation for 100 percent of their verified losses. This is the second round of payments related to the Western Union settlement. In March 2020, refund checks worth about $153 million went out to more than 109,000 people.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) expects to approve more refunds in the coming months. DOJ also plans to provide a way for people to apply for refunds for the first time, and to provide additional documentation to support claims that haven’t been approved yet. When there is information about how to apply for the first time or provide additional documentation, DOJ will post it on the Western Union Remission site.
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 DOJ’s administrator, Gilardi & Co. at 844-319-2124 and WesternUnionRemission.com.