I first reported to you in January of 2017 that Western Union, which provides money wiring services around the world, had settled fraud charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Justice Department and a number of states’ Attorneys General.  Under the terms of the settlement which was achieved through a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, Western Union is paying 586 million dollars to reimburse victims of the various scams facilitated by Western Union in conjunction with scammers around the world who used the services of Western Union to illegally launder funds.  The Deferred Prosecution Agreement allows Western Union to avoid a criminal conviction if it complies with all of the settlement terms.

Wiring money has long been a favored method for scammers to request payment in a wide variety of scams because of the difficulty of tracing or retrieving the funds once they have been wired.  Among the scams that Western Union was involved that were uncovered by prosecutors were scams in which the scammers posed as family members of their victims desperately in need of money, phony lotteries and phony job opportunities.

As I explained to you in 2017, anyone who  lost money due to scams that involved payments by Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017 had until May 31, 2018 to  file a claim to be reimbursed through funds derived from Western Union through the settlement.  However, now the Department of Justice (DOJ) for a second time has reopened the refund process and you now have until August 31, 2022 to file a claim.

TIPS

If you were a victim of a scam in which funds were wired through Western Union between January 1, 2014 and January 19, 2017, you are eligible for reimbursement through the forfeited funds Western Union is paying to settle this matter.   There is no charge for filing a claim or receiving a check.  If you got a prefilled in claim form in the mail showing the amount you lost as determined by the FTC you can use it to submit your claim.  If you didn’t get a form in the mail, you can file your claim online at westernunionremissionphase2.com

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