Scammed? Western Union May Owe You Money

Published on November 29, 2017

Western Union

GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) – Colorado-based company and well-known money wiring service Western Union will soon pay more than $500 million to victims of scams, and thousands of Coloradoans may be eligible for the refund.

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice began the remission compensation process for those scammed while using Western Union. According to the DOJ, the company admitted to being complicit in hundreds of thousands of scams since 2004. Various Western Union agents across the country also received a cut of the fraud proceeds.

“American consumers lost money while Western Union looked the other way,” said Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen in a news release. “We’re pleased to start the process that will get that money back into consumers’ rightful hands.”

We at the District Attorney’s office have heard countless of these stories over the years from local citizens being ripped off by money wiring scams.

The grandparent scheme is the most creative we’ve seen recently. A grandparent gets a frantic call in the middle of the night, presumably from their grandchild. The caller creates a sense of urgency and begs the victim to wire them money because they’re in some sort of trouble – the usual being they got arrested and need bail money. The loving grandparent then wires the money, and just like that, they’ve been scammed out of their hard-earned cash.

There’s also the pet scam, the “Congratulations! You’ve won a prize, but you need to pay the taxes” scam, the IRS scam, the “guaranteed” loan scam and the list goes on.

The good news: if you transferred money to scammers through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you may be eligible for a refund. To file a claim, click here. According to the FTC, it will take up to a year to process the claim and determine eligibility for repayment. You must submit your claim by February 12, 2018.

Note: The FTC will not call and ask for personal, financial or credit card information in regards to this claims process.