News Releases

ORIGINALLY ISSUED BY THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION In the United States of America

April 27, 2018

If scammers had you pay via Western Union, you can now file a claim to get money back. Canadian consumers are eligible to make claims. All claims must be filed by May 31, 2018.

For years, many people who lost money to scams sent their payment through a Western Union wire transfer. Scammers contacted people and promised prizes, loans, jobs, discounted products or other financial rewards in exchange for money upfront. They also pretended to be family members in need of cash or law enforcement officers demanding payment. The scammers told people to send money through Western Union. No one received the cash, prizes or services they were promised.

Because of joint investigations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the U. S. Postal Inspection Service, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million and admitted to aiding and abetting wire fraud. DOJ is now using that money to provide refunds to people who were tricked into using Western Union to pay scammers.

If you sent money to a scammer through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you can submit a claim.The deadline to file a claim is May 31, 2018.

A wide variety of scams may be covered by this settlement, including:

Online or internet scams – you did not receive the items you tried to buy online

Lottery or prize promotion scams – you were told you won a lottery or sweepstakes, but never got the prize

Emergency or grandparent scams – you sent money to someone pretending to be a relative or friend in urgent need of money

Advance-fee loan scams – you paid upfront fees, but did not get the promised loans

Online dating or romance scams – you sent money to someone who created a fake profile on a dating or social networking website.

For more information regarding the claim process and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit Federal Trade Commission - Western Union Refund

Also see Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca