Normally, with online or telephone scams the rule of thumb is that the victim cannot recover any funds that he/she may have lost. Many scammers are not near the victim, making their calls from another state or even another country. However, for some victims, they may be able to recover lost funds due to a court settlement earlier this year between Western Union and the federal government.
The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice alleged that Western Union allowed fraudsters to use Western Union money transfers as part of their scams despite receiving hundreds of thousands of complaints about the practice. Western Union also allegedly failed to promptly discipline problem agents and to have effective anti-fraud policies and procedures. In January 2017, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million to resolve the charges.
Scammers would demand that their victims transfer funds with Western Union money transfers for fraudulent lotteries and prizes, fake family emergencies, advance-fee loan scams, online dating and other scams.
If you were a victim of a scam that used a Western Union money transfer between January 1, 2004 and January 19,2017, you may have a claim for a portion of the settlement funds. You can file a claim or learn more about the settlement at
The FTC reminds you that filing a claim is free. You should not pay anyone to file a claim on your behalf. It also says that no one associated with the claims process will call you to ask for your bank account or credit card number.
Federal Trade Commission: