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Did you lose money to a scam, wiring the money via Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017? If so, you might know that May 31 is the deadline for filing your claim to get money back from the FTC’s and the Department of Justice’s settlement with Western Union. With the deadline fast approaching, we know two things: (1) there will probably be a rush of last-minute filers; and (2) scammers will try to take advantage of the people filing claims.

We’re sure about those scammers  because we’ve already seen them (and told you about them). And we’re still seeing scams that offer to get you special access, so-called easier ways to file, and promises of big amounts of money. This includes one recent email that said it came from the FBI, promised a refund of more than $500,000 – and said you could claim it just by emailing a Gmail address.

So, as the days click down until the May 31 deadline for filing, remember: if anyone promises you a refund – or says they’re the only way to get one, that’s a scam. If anybody tries to charge you to get your money back, that’s also a scam. If you’re still planning to submit a claim, here are a few quick pointers:

  • Start your claim at FTC.gov/WU. You don’t need to email anybody or hire a lawyer. Just start here, put in as much information as you have, upload whatever documents you have, and submit.
  • It’s free to file your claim. Don’t pay anybody to get a refund. Ever.
  • There are no guarantees. Nobody can promise you a refund at all, much less a specific amount of money. There’s a whole process that will happen once all the claims are in – to validate them, and then divide up the money among all the people who qualified.
  • There are no short-cuts. That validation process? It’ll take a while. There’s no short-cut or special access. It might take a year to get your money back, but nobody can help you get it any faster.

If you spot anybody making any of those promises, or charging for a refund, the FTC wants to know about it.

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308 Comments

Brambles
May 23, 2018
I lose $850.00 in 2004 to scammers ,
FTC Staff
May 23, 2018

In reply to by Brambles

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 get money back. You must file a claim by May 31, 2018.

You can file the claim online. Go to FTC.gov/WU to read about the claim process.  Click the orange button near the top of the FTC.gov/WU page to connect to the US Department of Justice website where you file a claim.

ssabh
June 07, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

Hello, Is there a refund for Moneygram and Walmart2Walmart too. I was scammed by someone on Match.com and sent money to Nigeria too.

FTC Staff
June 07, 2018

In reply to by ssabh

The refund program is related only to transfers made through Western Union. You can report other transactions to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint and to the wire transfer company you used. Call the MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 1‑800‑926‑9400. If the scammer contacted you through a website, for example a product sales or social media website, you can report the problem to that site.

Aising Seechan
June 08, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

I'm still waiting on my check that you guys spouse to send and other thing agreement or do I have to research on my own at doc I don't want to going through my document and file again I just want my freedom I need som help here that what you guys are employed and getting pay for and we're is my paycheck i have not even got a cent from the Tim and now
FTC Staff
June 08, 2018

In reply to by Aising Seechan

If you filed a claim to ask for a refund, you do not need to file again. The refund administrator is reviewing all the claims that people filed. It could take up to one year for the administrator to review all the claims. 

When the administrator is done reviewing the claims, the FTC will post a message on FTC.gov/WU.

Burke651
February 22, 2020

In reply to by Aising Seechan

I haven’t either I am not counting on any money it will keep getting delayed or they will keep asking for receipts for this I already did sent so frustrated
sassy
November 29, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

I returned all my paperwork before the first deadline over a year ago. I have not heard or received anything. It said it could take up to a year not over a year...Maybe this hope for my money back was a scam too.
SHBr
September 02, 2019

In reply to by sassy

I got the letter from Gilardi, returned it immediately with all the documentation requested. Got a confirmation that they had everything needed. It has been over two years since I sent it all in. Seen deadlines extended, and nothing has happened. Really? I am wondering like Sassy. Is this just another scam.
Sue Stanley Park
June 08, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

There are no instructions on how to file a claim against Western Union.
Supermodel1
December 10, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

Hi Bridget. I wish I had known about this. I was scammed by a scam artist that had me doing secret shopper work at Walmart and was paid with Money Gram Money Orders but part of the instructions were to visit multiple Western Union locations and wire money. I have all of my documents and I also was sued by Suntrust due to this because Suntrust cashed one of the phoney money orders and about 3 weeks later, Suntrust had me on the hook for $1600.00 and eventually my checking account was frozen and I had to pay their attorney $4500.00 to settle this case. I have copies of the money orders and everything. I even have the copies from the western union transaction. I did see on this site that Money Gram also has a settlement fund. I filled out the form and replied back.
Truax360
January 09, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

I filed a claim last year and have heard nothing. When I contacted western union I was told that the refunds would be sent out after filing closed. I still have heard nothing when Williams receive my refund?
Tiffany
February 12, 2019

In reply to by Truax360

I filed loooong before the deadline and also still haven't heard anything. It's been over a year that I have been waiting
Alice
October 10, 2019

In reply to by Tiffany

Yeah I sent mine long before the original end date approximately 2 1/2 years ago, and still nothing. I called Gilardi & Co multiple times with no reply and sent multiple e-mails to the remissions e-mail address with no reply. Are Gilardi & Co just keeping any money received during the supposed eligibility process. "No ones eligible so I guess we get to keep it all." It seems that this too is a scam to further torment those who have already been scammed. I have not found a single update for 2019.
FTC Staff
October 15, 2019

In reply to by Alice

This blog tells you to start your claim at www.FTC.gov/WU. That is the FTC page for questions and answers and information about Western Union refunds. That page has a link to www.WesternUnionRemission.com, the website of Gilardi & Co.. Gilardi & Co. is the administrator hired by the US Department of Justice to manage refunds. Gilardi & Co. added three updates to its site in 2019.

jgorin
January 28, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

I just received in the mail a letter stating that I had until 2/11/2019 to confirm. I am confused because everything on here says 05/31/2018. Is this a new scam going around?
FTC Staff
March 25, 2019

In reply to by jgorin

Did your letter come from Gilardi & Co.?

Gilardi & Co is the company that is managing the refund process for the US Department of Justice. Gilardi & Co. is reviewing all the claim forms that people sent in. When the company has questions about a claim form, it has been writing to people to ask them for more information about the claim.

If your letter didn't come from Gilardi & Co., it might have been a scam. You can report that to the FTC at www.FTC.gov/Complaint.

Get the latest updates about the refund process at www.FTC.gov/WU.

uber22
April 23, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

I'm beginning to suspect this class action suit is also a scam. So, who do we report an FTC scam to?
FTC Staff
April 29, 2019

In reply to by uber22

You can stay informed by reading updates about the refund process at www.FTC.gov/WU and on the website of Gilardi & Co at www.WesternUnionRemission.com. Both the FTC and the redress administrator, Gilardi & Co, have updates about the letters Gilardi & Co mailed to people to verify claims in March 2019, and the status of the refund process.

Jessica R
July 18, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

I filed my claim back in November 2017 and got a confirmation email and haven’t heard anything since ....so am I missing something if they mailed out letters/status updates again in March 2019?
FTC Staff
July 22, 2019

In reply to by Jessica R

In March 2019, Gilardi & Co. sent letters to 38,000 people that asked those people to give more information about their claims. The deadline for those 38,000 people to reply was June 30, 2019.

As of today, Gilardi & Co. has not sent out decisions about who is eligible for a refund. You can stay informed by reading information at www.FTC.gov/WU and www.WesternUnionRemission.com.

monnie62
August 04, 2019

In reply to by uber22

the Law firm didn't send everyone a letter, I called them serval times informing that I didn't received a letter from them no response from them yet.....I left my name and number still no answer.
lory
February 12, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

I have turned in all receipts and proof under the original deadline. Any idea when we will get more information?
R.Weese
November 12, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

I lost $800(+western union costs) to a "grant scam" in 2016. I did report it to the government
icon
October 25, 2018

In reply to by Brambles

I lost 3,000.00 via a Ebay scammer who sent a s"spoofed" second chance offer and said western union was the only way he could accept payment due to having so much activity on his account and it was maxed out. I was contacted by a law firm in my state to verify my address and the amounts i lost for this settlement. I t would be nice to get that back. I just hope whoever was the con artist got theirs in the end. I hope God makes them answer for it when they stand in judgement.
wlol87
March 28, 2019

In reply to by icon

I'M GOING THROUGH THE SAME THING I GOT SCAMMED FOR 3500 5 YEARS AGO FOR A EBAY CAR SCAM. I DID FILE A CLAIM WITH THE LAW FIRM IN EARLY 2018. HAVEN'T HEARD NOTHING. THE WEBSITE HAS THE SAME POSTS FROM 2018. I'M CONVINCED I'LL NEVER GET MY MONEY BACK.
FTC Staff
April 09, 2019

In reply to by wlol87

People sent in more than 180,000 refund claims. Gilardi & Co, the company the US Department of Justice hired to manage the refund process, is reviewing and evaluating all the claims to determine eligibility.  If information is missing from your claim, Gilardi & Co. may contact you by mail to ask for more information. After Gilardi & Co. reviews the claims, it will send recommendations to the US Department of Justice for final decisions. No payments will happen until after all the claims are reviewed. Check  FTC.gov/WU or westernunionremission.com for updates.

marxx
April 12, 2019

In reply to by icon

I had the same exact thing happen to me, so I wired my whole income tax return to a fake square trade web page via western union
No one's getti…
November 01, 2018

In reply to by Brambles

I filed my form over 2 yrs ago ..No word ..No contact from anyone ..They are sitting on the money ...DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH ON A REFUND. NOT GONNA HAPPEN ..
FTC Staff
March 25, 2019

In reply to by No one's getti…

More than 180,000 petitions were submitted. The company that the US Department of Justice hired to manage the review process, Gilardi & Co., is working to verify the claims that people send in. When Gilardi & Co. finds a claim that needs more information, they contact the person by mail and ask them to explain the lack of information and ask for more information. 

It could take up to one year to review and verify all the peititions. Gilardi & Co will not make any final decisions or send any payments until they review all the claims.

You can stay informed by reading updates at www.FTC.gov/WU and Gilardi & Co.

Cdblessed
March 30, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

Can you say as to when we will get an update on the status what are they are the process? I think it's been about 6 months since the last one. I realize the process is a rather large one... But, anything?
Kelly
May 19, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

You said they won't be sending out checks till all claims are reviewed. When already the first batch of checks have been mailed from the letters that were sent back with the approval amount. I don't understand mine was in that batch but yet it is under review. I sent an email and no one wants to reply. I am reading something that dose not match up with what's going on. Not fair to the victims..
sassy
May 30, 2020

In reply to by Kelly

I am in the same boat. I called FTC and got the run around. They gave me another number to call. Finally got a person who gave me another number to call. They referred me back to the orginal number. When calling the administrator never got a person only a recording that was a fyi only. I have emailed with no replies. My last attempt was a letter to administrator about three weeks ago and of course no response. Either the administer is keeping the funds or it was a scam to begin with.
FTC Staff
June 01, 2020

In reply to by sassy

Go to the Gilardi & Co. site to read the March 10, 2020 update: 

The Department of Justice has begun its first distribution of approximately $153 million in funds forfeited to the U.S. Government from the Western Union Company to over 109,000 victims located in the United States and abroad. These victims will be recovering the full amount of their losses.

This first round of payments is one of several expected to occur in the Western Union remission.

Anbbrown
October 01, 2019

In reply to by No one's getti…

I agree with you, it has gotten ridiculous. I dont think we r getting anything. It was supposed to happen by now
DCuris
May 23, 2018
I have a creditor that claims that expedited credit card payments must be made through Western Union. I thought this civil case included scenario like this, yes, no?
mluminita624
May 23, 2018

Are considered?  I sent all the deposit by post  All deposits were made in Nigeria and turned out be a scammers

FTC Staff
May 23, 2018

In reply to by mluminita624

This refund program is for people who used Western Union wire transfers to send money to scammers.

If you used Western Union to send money transfers to a scammer between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you can file a claim to get money back. You must file a claim by May 31, 2018.

You can file the claim online. Go to FTC.gov/WU to read about the claim process. Click the orange button near the top of the FTC.gov/WU page to connect to the US Department of Justice website where you file a claim.

Solitary1972
May 23, 2018

In reply to by mluminita624

I don’t think they can do anything about it , same thing happen to me , a lot of money. All to Nigeria
iknow56
September 22, 2018

In reply to by Solitary1972

I know a guy who got me a lot, sending money to him and it goes to Nigeria. He is still doing it. I stop talking to him.
Liljim68
October 28, 2018

In reply to by iknow56

I think this same thing is happening to my friend. Do you have the name of this guy?
Canzi
May 23, 2018
How do I know if you got my claim
FTC Staff
May 23, 2018

In reply to by Canzi

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 for claimants, and we'll update the page when there is news.

Frank L
June 21, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

I was wondering if you received my information? I filled out paper and mailed a while back.
FTC Staff
June 21, 2018

In reply to by Frank L

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 for claimants, and we'll update the page when there is news.

Tracey Claire
May 30, 2018

In reply to by Canzi

It's been months, how do I know if you are working on my claim?
FTC Staff
June 01, 2018

In reply to by Tracey Claire

The refund administrator, Gilardi & Co., is working to verify claims now. This process could take up to a year. When the verification process is complete, we will post an update at FTC.gov/WU

farokhfaraz2
September 14, 2018

In reply to by Canzi

Hello, I sent you my claim and received a code number but I need pin code to inter into your site for fallow up the investigation result. my claim code is WUU-4004xxxx-x but you did not sent me the pin code. RE
FTC Staff
September 14, 2018

In reply to by farokhfaraz2

For more information about the remission process:

  • Email the administrator at info@westernunionremission.com.
  • Call the administrator at 1-844-319-2124.