AG Hawley Reminds Consumers of Deadline to File Claim if Scammed via Western Union Payment

Jan 25, 2018, 15:59 PM
Jan 25, 2018, 15:55 PM

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley joined the Federal Trade Commission in alerting consumers who lost money to scammers who told them to pay via Western Union’s money transfer system between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, that they can now file a claim to get their money back by going to before February 12, 2018.

The refund program follows a settlement with the Western Union Company, which in January 2017 agreed to pay $586 million to resolve charges brought by the FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice. The FTC alleged that fraudsters were able to use Western Union’s money transfer system to get payments from their victims, even though the company was aware of the problem and received hundreds of thousands of complaints about fraud-induced money transfers made for fraudulent lottery and prizes, family emergencies, advance-fee loans, online dating, and other scams. The company also allegedly failed to promptly discipline problem Western Union agents and failed to have effective anti-fraud policies and procedures.

In January 2017, Attorney General Hawley and the attorneys general of 48 other states, plus the District of Columbia, entered into related settlements with Western Union that required Western Union to develop and put into action a comprehensive anti-fraud program to help detect and prevent future abuses.

“Stopping criminals from having an easy means to obtain their illegal proceeds is an important component to combatting a wide range of fraudulent practices,” Hawley said. “My Office will continue to pursue not only those who rip off Missourians, but also those who assist these scammers. I encourage all Missourians who lost money to scammers by making payment via Western Union to make a claim to get their money back.”

Affected consumers should go to to file claims, learn more, or get updates on the claims process. Some people who have already reported their losses to Western Union, the FTC, or another government agency will receive a form in the mail from the claims administrator, Gilardi & Co. The form will have a Claim ID and a PIN number to use when filing a claim online via Gilardi was hired by the U.S. Department of Justice, which is responsible for returning victims’ money as part of its settlement with Western Union.

Filing a claim is free, so consumers should not pay anyone to file a claim on their behalf. No one associated with the claims process will ever call to ask for consumers’ bank account or credit card number.