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Since we told you it’s time to ask for your money back from Western Union’s settlement with the FTC, we’ve gotten some questions about who can make a claim, when, and how it works. Here are some answers.

  • If you lost money to a scammer who had you pay using Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you can file a claim. You have until February 12, 2018, to file your claim.
  • You do not have to pay to get your money back. To file a claim, you have to give your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on the claim form. But nobody will call you to ask for those numbers, or for your bank account or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer, so tell the FTC right away.
  • If you don’t have either a Social Security number or an ITIN, check the box that says so. When asked for a reason, you can explain that you’re not a U.S. citizen – or whatever other explanation applies.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is managing the claims process through the company they hired, Gilardi & Co. Your claim will go to Gilardi, but we suggest you start at, which will link you to the claims website.
  • If you had reported your loss to Western Union, the FTC, or another government agency earlier, you might have gotten a pre-filled claim form in the mail. But even if you didn’t, you can still file a claim.
  • To prove how much you lost, it helps to have documentation – like a receipt or transfer send form. If you don’t have those, file anyway. Give as much information as you can about your wire transfer and the money you lost, including when and why you sent it. That will help DOJ validate your claim.
  • We know it’s not that safe to send your Social Security number through the mail to someone you’ve never heard of. That’s why we suggest filing your claim online, starting at But if you got a claim form in the mail from Gilardi and you want to return it by mail, the only address to send it to is: United States v. The Western Union Company, PO Box 404027, Louisville, KY 40233-4027.
  • If you have power of attorney for someone, or you represent their estate, you can file a claim on their behalf.
  • How much money you get back depends on how many people file a claim, and how many claims DOJ can validate.
  • It might take a year for DOJ to process all the claims and send out checks.


Check for updates and answers to other questions.


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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.

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July 31, 2019
I was sent a pre-filled form for the Western Union scam and I filled it out and returned it it has been 14 months and I haven't heard a word not by letter or phone call can someone tell me if I receive a call what area code that would be from
Scammed and st…
August 04, 2019
My father and I filled out all the information for the Western Union Remission class action law suite. We have a claim # and and pin # which everything was filed on 11/18/17. It was supposed to take up to a year. I think that this is a lot longer than a year. I understand that it takes time but, come on... Are they planning to extend the dates again? By the time they pay people out, the funds will be depleted.
August 09, 2019
I've been waiting over a year when will I know about this .
December 07, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

I would help if they actually updated but they havent. So everyone that is suppose to be getting refunded sit and wait they should not give a time line if they arent going to follow through
September 13, 2019
I lost close to 11000 CAD in western union scam case. I received a letter from Department of Justice, stating the above fraud and I was asked to file a claim, which I did online. I have the claim number and the PIN. Its been almost exactly two years. I received the letter from DOJ in November 2017. I wrote to Gilardi & Co.a few times. What is the latest news on when I can expect to receive my money? I am a senior, almost eighty years old. How long will I live, no one can say. Can any exception be made for people like me who are in their twilight years so they can receive their fraud money before they depart this world. What use would it be be for such people if they don't receive their money before their death?
January 18, 2020

In reply to by rgoyalk

Just my comment for rgoyalk (his Sept 13, 2019 post): I really feel for you. I am in a same boat situation except I am well past your 'almost 80 yrs old'. I am 86 now and have been waiting for several years since I filed my well-documented claim. I cannot even get a new estimate from Gilardi on when they even think money may be disbursed. They strongly imply that everything is waiting on the Department of Justice. It looks like DOJ is not supplying any answers either. I guess we will just have to keep on living and waiting. (not funny, I know).
October 09, 2019
They keep asking me for additional proofs, however western union does not have records back to 2005 so I sent a police report there is no other proof can give that long ago. It’s crazy. Why keep asking for proofs that do not exist.
Patientlywaiting 35
October 17, 2019
I have submitted all documents, and I haven't recieved any more information. So I wanted to know when they are going to be starting on the the payouts.
October 21, 2019
What is going with this settlement seems that no one can give you any exact information concerning anything? All you hear it is going to take some time and the settlement date was originally Feb. 12, 2018, then extended to May 31, 2018, well here it is Oct. 21, 2019. Think it is past time that the admission administrator Gilardi & Co. should have had all these claims processed by now and the Dept. of Justice should be making refunds. They have held on to our money long enough. Get the refunds done now. Thanks
October 23, 2019
Refunds should of been sent out by now!!!!
November 06, 2019
Any updates?
November 23, 2019
I filed my paperwork almost 2 years ago fully complete. I have all the information on my claim. I even called Gilardi & Co., over 3 months ago to if there was any information on the refunds checks and I was told that no checks have been released yet. I was also told that since I did not received anything back from that my claim was complete. I checked all the emails that there are that has been listed and all they say that the claims will be reviews and the checks will then be processed. Who knows how long that will take. I've been for mine because of the storage of money that we life on and I an use it to touch up on bills or make a house payment. I don't understand what is taking so long, They must must be checking no more then 5 claims a day for people that are waiting as long as I have plus over a year and longer. Maybe they are trying to collect interest on that money before they pay us, and for as long as we are waiting, they should pay us interest!
December 07, 2019
I find it funny that I get a post card about settlement well over two years ago and was told it could take up to a year to receive my money back yet still waiting.
February 07, 2020

In reply to by swtpea1022

Same here, what JOKE! The joke is unfortunately on us all over again. Still waiting, no one responds to my repeated e-mails for any update on my settlement check and when I call the FTC or Dept of Justice I'm repeatedly sent to a voicemail that repeats itself and nothing more
Patient Victim
December 28, 2019
I first filed in 2017 and filed again as instructed in 2018. I have not heard a thing. Can you tell me the status of the claim refunds as of 12/28/19?
July 30, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

Hi! I sent my claim form and proof of fraud, but have been told that other cases are still being reviewed. Should I file my own lawsuit instead?
March 02, 2020
I filed a claim before the deadline of February 2018 and here it is March 2020. Still no payments and when you contact them still in review . One says I'm approved for the remission and nothing further needed and one says still in review . This is been ongoing for two years.
August 06, 2020

In reply to by Broke

I was probably one of the first to submit a Petition for Remission Submission form to your company on 11-27-2017 and included necessary documents and letters explaining the scam and my loss. It is now August 6, 2020. Why is this taking so long to settle my claim? It feels like I am being scammed all over again.
September 09, 2020
It has now been 6 mos. since March 10,2020, where is our MONEY?? Gilardi & Co. has had ample time to make our refunds they were suppose to have been made within 120 days. We need our refunds now please
December 06, 2020
HAS ANYONE HERE HAD THE SAME ISSUE: Western Union will not cooperate & they state that they cannot go back more than five years in obtaining money transaction records? Also anytime we go into the reconsideration request and on the website it says ‘no matching record in database’. WHAT GIVES??
February 06, 2021
For all people waiting on money - if you need records from western union, they CANNOT and will not give you records prior to anything before five years ago. It’s a scam!
February 24, 2021
what if you sent 2 separate payments at the same time to the same person but don't have a copy of it anymore. the prefilled form only shows 1 of the payments. plus how can we feel secured about giving our SS# and not know if it's another scam
FTC Staff
February 24, 2021

In reply to by PMam

If you got a prefilled form from Western Union, read the Frequently Asked Questions on

The FAQ says you must give your Social Security number when you make a claim becuase, the federal Treasury Offset Program reviews claims to see if people owe money to the federal government before people can get a payment.

Read the FAQ to learn what to do if you don't agree with the dollar loss  amount listed on the prefilled form.

February 24, 2021
I have been having major issues in obtaining any proof from Western Union. Unfortunately my elderly father lost most of money in the years of 2006, 2008-9, 2010 and finally in 2012. Western Union says they cannot give records beyond (this day) 2016. They “only” keep records five years. I guess records prior to five years ago magically disappear. This has been a complete run-around. Also, the Western Union Remission company has made me aware of several losses from 2005. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO GET THESE? This is turning out to be a complete joke!? Western Union has been stalling completely, been totally unhelpful, and is now outright lying about their records. A company as huge as Western Union would keep receipts for quite a long time. Especially, when it relates to a case as large as this. I’ve had absolutely no help from Gilardi, the Western Union remission company, contacted the department of justice, and now I’m running out of options. The loss to my dad‘s estate was over $1 million, and now I am starting fear this is yet just another SCAM.
February 27, 2021

In reply to by Stelwarr

I’ve had the exact same problems in obtaining any of my father’s receipts and transactions and records from Western Union. They will not go back past five years and their executive office is of no help. Beginning to think this is a scam - I filed initially over four years ago and have heard NOTHING except when the western union remission company sent me an impersonal “dear petitioner” letter asking for me to resend some of the backup transaction records and made me aware of a few more that I was unaware of. When I contacted Western Union about the other receipts (I could provide details about those, including a membership number that my Dad had used frequently,) I was told to fill out forms, pay a $30 research fee(??) and then was told at that point it would be 21 days. At the end of 21 days they told me they couldn’t go back to 2012 - it was past their 5 years that they retain receipts!? They couldn’t have told me prior to my request? What is going on? This is crazy! It is absolutely ridiculous and infuriating that Western Union is slipping by like this and skating on paying damages thru a pre-determined lawsuit where Western Union was 100% complicit in helping -especially older- folks get scammed! This is yet another scam!
March 03, 2021

In reply to by Mike

Yes - I was charged a $30.00 research fee too. Then they said they cannot get my receipts as they predated how long they keep receipts for! How maddening. It’s a scam.
July 28, 2021
I got a partial check made out with a big typo. The bank will not verify. They say the check s not from a real bank and cannot deposit or cash it. Unreal! So, I called the Western Union Remission line and the person I got said it was under review and all she could do is leave a message for the case management team to look over. This is absolutely horrible - what a joke. (Also, Western Union themselves continue to send emails telling me that they cannot help me with obtaining receipts.) What is going on? Why are so many people having problems?
August 03, 2021
My name is Terri Springe my claim id#1017xxxx I need a copy of the check mailed tome in March 2020 I need to see who cashed it I don’t feel it was me
FTC Staff
August 03, 2021

In reply to by Terrispringe

Please go to the Gilardi & Co website at to get information about refunds.