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The deadline to ask for your money back from the FTC’s settlement with Western Union is now May 31, 2018. That’s the settlement refunding people the money that scammers had them pay using Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017. We have some tips on how to file your claim, answers to questions, and where to start filing your claim online. But, based on some recent questions – and because we’ve heard about some people making promises they can’t deliver – we wanted to give you some practical tips on how to get your claim in.

  1. Don’t pay anybody to help you file your claim or get your money back. It’s free to file your claim. It’s free to get your refund. That’s true whenever the government returns money to you. You. Don’t. Have. To. Pay.
  2. You can do it yourself. There’s no need to hire a lawyer to file the claim for you. Start at FTC.gov/WU to file your claim online. The claim form is not too hard – we promise. Just put in as much information as you have, upload any documents you still have, and submit.
  3. You can mail in your claim. You don’t have to file online. Print out a blank claim form – or have someone help you print it – fill it out, attach copies of any documentation you might have, and send it to: United States v. The Western Union Company, PO Box 404027, Louisville, KY 40233-4027.
  4. Nobody can get your refund to you more quickly. There’s no short-cut or special access. You file your claim and then you wait for the Department of Justice to have all the claims in, validate them, and return the money. It might take a year, but nobody can help you get it any faster.

If anyone tells you the only way to get your money back is through them, or they try to charge you to get your money back, stop. That’s a scam, so tell the FTC.

108 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

sienna
February 21, 2018
having trouble getting info from western union from where I purchased my money orders, what can I do?
FTC Staff
February 21, 2018

In reply to by sienna

You can file a claim, even if you don’t have paperwork related to your money transfer. You may still be eligible for a payment. You can give as much information as you remember, like where you were when you sent the money, and the place you sent money to.

DIANE A
February 26, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

What about paying $550 through MoneyGram to a male scammer? Can I get my money back? Or this pertains only to Western Union? The man name is Michael Valentino Emmanuel
FTC Staff
February 26, 2018

In reply to by DIANE A

This refund process does not apply to money sent through MoneyGram.

You can report a scam to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint and to the MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 1‑800‑926‑9400. If the scammer contacted you through a website, for example a dating website or product sales website, you can report the problem to that site.

WH Cole
February 27, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

How do I file a claim for a recent, January 2018, fraud action involving WU transfers?
FTC Staff
February 27, 2018

In reply to by WH Cole

The refunds related to Western Union's settlement with the FTC are for money sent between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017. You can report a scam that happened after that date to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint and to Western Union's Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492.

WH Cole
February 27, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

I've spoken to Western Union and got no results. I'll go to the FTC site.
Rrod
June 25, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

I mis placed my paper with all information regarding my claim including claim number, its going on a year...trying to figure out who and how to contact a live person to check the status.
FTC Staff
June 25, 2018

In reply to by Rrod

You can contact the refund administrator to ask about your claim. The contact information is on this page. And save a link to FTC.gov/WU. We have useful information about the process and will update the page when there is news.

FTC Staff
June 25, 2018

In reply to by Rrod

You can contact the refund administrator to ask about your claim. The contact information is on this page. And save a link to FTC.gov/WU. We have useful information about the process and will update the page when there is news.

Demetrio8700
June 20, 2019

In reply to by Rrod

It's been more than a year been waiting for the refund but still you canon t contact a live person to ask for an update. I sent messages to info re W U remission but keep asking my information.
JG
April 22, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

Refunds from scams were suppose to be issued by end of last year. I have not received mine yet. How long will they be delayed?
joan h
February 21, 2018
I cannot remember if this claim involves me
gwene1954
February 21, 2018
I would like to know how how file a claim I send an imposter thru WesternUnion , this was between 2004-2007
FTC Staff
February 21, 2018

In reply to by gwene1954

You can submit your claim online or you can print a blank claim form and return it by postal mail. You must file your claim by May 31, 2018.

To submit your claim online, go to FTC.gov/WU. Click the orange button near the top of the page. Click the link on the next page. You will be connected to the claim filing website.

To print a blank claim form, go to FTC.gov/WU. Click on the words "print a blank claim form." Click on the next link. Open the pdf file. That is the blank claim form. Fill it out and mail it to the address listed on FTC.gov/WU.

OldJarHeadVet
February 21, 2018
Thank you for your Service too. FRAUD in all it's forms is sometimes overwhelming. Is that the cost of Living Free? Assuredly. Punishments for crimes is far TOO LENIENT in most cases. Prisons also need to be self sustaining. SemperFi
getaform
February 21, 2018
Where does one get a claim form?
FTC Staff
February 21, 2018

In reply to by getaform

You have two choices:

  • Fill out the claim form online and submit it online
  • Print a blank claim form, and send it by postal mail

To fill out the claim form online and submit it online: Go to FTC.gov/WU. Click the orange button near the top of the page. Click the link on the next page. You will be connected to the claim filing website.

To get a blank claim form: Go to FTC.gov/WU. Click on the words "print a blank claim form." Click on the next link. Open the pdf file. That is the blank claim form.

t.fleshman
February 21, 2018
I lost all my information do we need that
t.fleshman
February 21, 2018
Do we need receipt
FTC Staff
February 23, 2018

In reply to by t.fleshman

If you used Western Union to send money to a scammer between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, file a claim, even if you don’t have paperwork related to your money transfer. You may still be eligible for a payment.

You must file your claim by May 31, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to start your claim. Click the orange button that's near the top of the page. Then click again on the next page. You will be connected to the claim filing website. Give as much information as you can.

radhabaigadiyr
February 23, 2018
(1) I have filed a claim on-line a while back. How can I find out whether my claim is on flie or not? (2) If I have to file a paper claim, again what can I do to get a hard copy of the form by mail?
FTC Staff
February 23, 2018

In reply to by radhabaigadiyr

You can file a claim online, OR you can file a paper claim.   Do not  file two claims.

Jake1943
February 21, 2018
I would like to turn in claims on two people that are deceased. I am the executor to both my siblings estate and I know that I have to send in a Cert. of Death and the Trust indicating that I am the trustee now. Was wondering if I need anything else and who are the checks made out to?
FTC Staff
February 21, 2018

In reply to by Jake1943

You can file a claim for a family member, friend or client if you represent an estate. Go to FTC.gov/WU and the claim filing website for more information.

russelldonn
February 23, 2018

I filled a claim from the last web site that you had on here. And I have not received a pin number or any reply from the Western Union Scam.

FTC Staff
February 23, 2018

In reply to by russelldonn

You will not get a PIN number after you file a claim at the US Deparment of Justice website. You will not get a reply right away.  It could take up to one year to process and verify all the  claims and determine who is eligible to get a payment. 

When there is news about the refunds, the FTC will publish the news at FTC.gov/WU.

Ash
February 22, 2018
If I'm being sent an email about this, does that mean it involves me?
FTC Staff
February 23, 2018

In reply to by Ash

Who sent you the email? You might get email from the Federal Trade Commission because you signed up to get news about consumer protection. The Federal Trade Commission sends notices when there are new blog posts about consumer protection issues.

Did you use Western Union to send money to a scammer between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017? If you did, you can ask to get some money back. You have to ask by May 31, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU for help.

masum molla
February 22, 2018
I like writing you very well I do not have anything to say. I have many mails for you. You get thousands of dollars. I do not care if I go to anything. Thank you for giving me good advice.
Big Ray
February 22, 2018

1) Will any claims be adjudicated before the extended May 31, 2018 closing date? 2) Is there a website that we check check the status of our claim?

Pchong
February 23, 2018
Would I be able to still file a claim if i was scammed on February 21,2018?
FTC Staff
February 23, 2018

In reply to by Pchong

No, you are not eligible to file a claim if you used Western Union to send money to a scammer after January 19, 2017.

You can report the scam to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint and to the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492. If the scammer contacted you through a website, for example a dating website or product sales website, you can report the problem to that site.

Bigshot60
February 23, 2018
Thank you for all that you do ! It shows you care!! God bless !!
Vero
February 26, 2018

Hi, I sent money on 2 different days to the same person, do I add it up and file one claim or 2 separate ones ?

Cbrown
July 25, 2018

I was just wondering if I would qualify if I used the Wal-Mart system? Unfortunately I no longer have the paperwork for it. I had pretty much given up on any hopes for resolution on this.

FTC Staff
July 25, 2018

In reply to by Cbrown

I don't know what you mean by the Wal-Mart system. Do you mean you used Western Union to transfer the money when you were in a Wal-Mart store?

If you used Western Union to send money to a scammer between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you can file a claim to ask for money back. You must file a claim by May 31, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process. 

phriddle
February 24, 2018
I was scammed by a woman who came to stay with me. I am alone and disabled and I thought we were friends. She was about 70 years old and had a male friend who was 52 years old. He convinced her that he had a brain tumor that was cancer and needed surgery asps! She was sending him almost all of her income. Stupid me began to believe him also. I ended up giving them about $50 to 60 thousand dollars. Her niece helped convince me also that he needed the surgery., I ended up borrowing money from my bank, cleaned out my savings account, borrowed money from my car title and even asked my friends to help out. He had both of us believing that he had won a medical law-suit and was going to share it with us for helping him.She was in love with him and I was just taken in with their lies. This went on for a year. There is more to the story, but I cannot write it all here. After they left me in debt, I found out that he had been in prison in 3 other states. He was running guns and selling drugs. They were from Missouri. I have all their information, DOB, SS numbers, some of his "doctors names" which I verified on line. More information when needed. Thank you!
FTC Staff
July 25, 2018

In reply to by phriddle

You could talk to your local police or sheriff about this. If you need help with daily expenses, transportation, home repair or other costs, you can call the federal government Eldercare Locator service at 1-800-677-1116. You can search the resources at Eldercare.ACL.gov.

FRRMcC
February 26, 2018
I submitted the required claim form and uploaded receipts and other documentation. Other than getting the confirmation/claim number from a "do not reply" email address, is there anything that we need to do to ensure our claim was received and is being processed? Is there any other proof that the claim has been received and being routed through the proper channels? Thank you for your hard work on trying to help people get their money (and, in many cases, their dignity) back.
FTC Staff
March 15, 2018

In reply to by FRRMcC

You don't need to do anything more after you submit your claim. You could contact the refund administrator about your claim. At this time, they will probably say your claim is "under review." You can check at FTC.gov/WU periodically. That is where the FTC will post new information.

Patiently Waiting
February 26, 2018
So does the extension to the deadline mean that the claims that were completed by the initial deadline be placed on standby until the next deadline in May?
MR.GRATEFUL
March 01, 2018

In reply to by Patiently Waiting

I was also wondering if the deadline extension will extend the the expected refund time? Also, will all claims be paid at the same time, or in the order the claims were recieved?
FTC Staff
March 15, 2018

In reply to by MR.GRATEFUL

The claims are reviewed as they come in. After all the claims are reviewed, the US Department of Justice will make decisions to approve or deny claims. Then it will work through an appeal process. Payments won't begin until the appeal process is concluded.

Fuming over sister
March 04, 2018
My sister not to smart has been scammed by a man from Nigeria he is sending her money to have hervturn around and send it back. She is also sending money that belongs to her mentally challenged sons to send him. She doesn't want to admit that he is scamming her and continues sending him money . please help
FTC Staff
March 05, 2018

In reply to by Fuming over sister

Some scammers use people to help them transfer stolen money. The scammers develop online relationships and ask their new sweetheart or friend to accept money and transfer funds.

The scammer might ask the victim to use her bank account, or open a new account, or use a wire transfer service. The victim uses her personal information on the bank account and wire transfer forms. If you get involved with one of these schemes, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble. 

Very concerned
March 06, 2018
Can you file a claim with western union if the scam happened after 1/19/17?
FTC Staff
March 07, 2018

In reply to by Very concerned

No, you can't file a claim for a refund under the settlement. You can report that to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint and to the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492. If the scammer contacted you through a website, for example a dating website or product sales website, you can report the problem to that site.