Con artists use Western Union settlement to fool victims . . . again

Pensacola, Fla. — Many scam victims who transferred money via Western Union are now eligible to file for a refund, thanks to a recent Federal Trade Commission settlement with the company. But con artists are using this as an opportunity to scam victims again!

How the Scam Works

If you lost money to a scammer who had you pay using Western Union between January 1, 2004, and January 19, 2017, you are eligible to file a claim to get your money back. That much is true. What’s not true is that you can file a claim by email, need to hire a lawyer, or can pay to speed up your case. This misinformation is being spread by scammers.

Targets of this scam report receiving emails instructing them to file for a refund by replying to the message. Scammers ask for information about their Western Union transaction, along with their name, address, and other personal information. Responding to these messages opens victims up to the risk of identity theft. If you get this email, be sure to hit “delete.”

Tips to avoid this scam:

  • Don’t pay anybody to help get your money back. It’s free to file your claim and get your refund. Instructions saying otherwise are a scam.
  • You can do it yourself. You do not need to hire a lawyer to help. Also, you cannot pay to speed up your case.
  • If you have not applied for a refund, do not open or reply to emails about the settlement. To submit a claim, go to ftc.com/WU for more information. The deadline is May 31, 2018.
  • If you have already applied for a refund, you can verify any communication by contacting Gilardi & Co., the claims administrator, at 1-844-319-2124.

For more information:

To read more about the settlement and the types of scams involved, check out this article on BBB.org To learn whether you qualify for the settlement, go to ftc.com/WU for more information.

For additional information and advice you can trust, start with bbb.org.