Scam victims who paid through Western Union can file claims online | MyWindsorNow.com

Scam victims who paid through Western Union can file claims online

Trevor Reid
treid@greeleytribune.com

Those who lost money to scammers who told them to pay through Western Union between Jan. 1, 2004 and Jan. 19, 2017 have until the end of the month to file a claim to get their money back.

The Federal Trade Commission set up a web page for scam victims to make claims before May 31 at FTC.gov/WU.

In January 2017, Western Union Company agreed to pay $586 million to resolve charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice. The Federal Trade Commission alleged fraudsters were able to use the company's money transfer system to get payments from their victims, despite "hundreds of thousands" of complaints about various frauds and scams, according to a release from the Colorado Attorney General's office.

Between Jan. 1, 2004, and Aug. 30, 2015, Western Union received more than 9,000 fraud complaints from Coloradans for losses totaling more than $10 million, according to the release.

"Western Union owes a responsibility to American consumers to actively guard against fraud," Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said in the release. "For years, Western Union allowed scam artists to use its money transfer system to get payments from victims. I am glad this settlement will provide much needed relief to the many Coloradans affected by these scams."

The Federal Trade Commission also claimed the company failed to promptly discipline "problem" Western Union agents and establish effective anti-fraud policies and procedures.

Getting your money back

The Justice Department hired Gilardi & Co. to return victims’ money in this settlement. Those who have already reported their losses to Western Union, the Federal Trade Commission or another government agency should receive a form in the mail from Gilardi. The form will have a Claim ID and a PIN number for filing a claim online at FTC.gov/WU.

Filing a claim is free, and no one associated with the claims process will call to ask about bank accounts or credit card numbers.