Western Union is reimbursing customers who lost money to scammers and con artists between Jan 1, 2004 and Jan 19, 2017.
But be aware – the deadline for filing a request the reimbursement is quickly approaching, July 1, 2022.
The reimbursements are part of a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) between the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Western Union.
In the agreement, Western Union “acknowledged responsibility for its criminal conduct, which included violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and aiding and abetting wire fraud, and agreed to forfeit $586 million, which has been made available to compensate victims of the international consumer fraud scheme,” according to a statement from the DOJ.
Western Union has forfeited $586 million, which has been put aside to compensate victims of specific consumer fraud schemes.
What Scams Qualify for Getting Money Back?
According to the statement from the DOJ, the scams include:
The Grandparent Scam
This is where a con artist poses as a close relative of the (usually elderly) victim and says they need a certain amount of money to avoid jail or other personal harm.
Lottery or Sweepstakes Scam
The scammer tells the victim that the victim has won a large cash prize, but has to pay fees or taxes ahead of time to claim the prize.
The scammer poses as an online love interest and requests funds for a visit, medical treatment, family emergency or other purpose.
Note: The above are examples that the DOJ listed and this is not an exhaustive list of all potential scams that qualify for reimbursements.
Western Union will only make reimbursements to qualified customers who paid through Western Union between Jan 1, 2004 and Jan 19, 2017.
Almost 150,000 Victims Have Gotten Their Money Back
During phase 1 of the disbursement, the DOJ has said they have distributed over $366 million to over 148,000 victims so far.
All received full compensation for the money they lost.
The disbursement has now entered phase 2.
How To File A Claim
“All wire transfers within and outside of the United States made through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, may be eligible for remission,” according to the DOJ.
The website to begin filing a claim is here.
The DOJ now says the deadline for submitting a petition is July 1, 2022.