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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.

jacci dee
March 07, 2018
I just now today, March 7, 2018, got a e-mail from a woman who wants to set me up as a beneficiary and call this number and Western Union has the 1st $5000 and I do this until I have $1,5000.00. I wish I knew how to send the e-mail to you. I know it is a scam.
FTC Staff
March 07, 2018

In reply to by jacci dee

You can help law enforcement by reporting the email to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. There is a place within the complaint form for you to paste an email that you copied. The information you give goes into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

birdiegolfer1961
March 09, 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?
FTC Staff
March 15, 2018

In reply to by birdiegolfer1961

No, claims are not on standby. Claims are reviewed as they arrive.

concerned aussie
March 14, 2018
The amount that I agreed to on the remission form was listed in US dollars, however I require australian dolalrs. Are we paid by cheque or bank transfer?
FTC Staff
March 15, 2018

In reply to by concerned aussie

If your claim is approved, you will receive a check. The US Department of Justice has not yet decided whether it will issue checks in any currency other than US dollars.

40grandscam
March 20, 2018
What happens if I was frauded out of 40000 can by a man from the Ivory Coast that I paid through western union with the promise that I was helping him settle his estate and I would receive 9 million for helping him ---?the problem is this money was sent in 2003 -/ is was reported to the police but nothing happened-- am I still eligible for the refund--- I did not receive a refund form?
FTC Staff
March 21, 2018

In reply to by 40grandscam

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 your money back. Go to FTC.gov/WU for more information about the claim filing process and to begin filing a claim.  You must file a claim by May 31, 2018.

40grandscam
March 20, 2018
My elderly father was scammed out of 40000 cdn in 2003 by a man in the Ivory Coast -- the contact was initially by email -- this man played my father for a year -- using my dads religious side and the sickness of my sister to gain my fathers trust and form a friendship-- this man promised if my dad sent him the 40000 through western union-- it would help him somehow unlock other funds-- I don't understand it completely-- but my father was to receive millions from this man in the Ivory Coast in exchange for the 40000. It sounds ridiculous-- but to a senior I guess it doesn't--- when I found out about it -- I took the paper work to the police-- but they couldn't do anything-- money was gone-- is there any way to recover this money-- since the scam happened in 2003 ??? I believe it was august 2003 when I went to the police
FTC Staff
March 21, 2018

In reply to by 40grandscam

If your father used Western Union to send money to a scammer between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, he can file a claim to get his money back. Go to FTC.gov/WU for more information about the claim filing process and to begin filing a claim.

He must file a claim by May 31, 2018.

pudd123
March 23, 2018
so if I just got scam on the 10th of this month will I be able to apply to get my money back
FTC Staff
April 03, 2018

In reply to by pudd123

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 your money back.

You can report a scam that happened after those dates to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint and to Western Union's Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492.

cheesecake565
April 04, 2018
I was scammed twice by two different companies. I was able to find the receipts and paperwork for one and summited my claim. After searching through my documents I was able to find the receipts for the other company. Do I need to resubmit another claim for the second scam?
P. Johnson
April 14, 2018
It's Been A Year Since I Filed My Claim. When Is The Refunds Coming?
FTC Staff
April 16, 2018

In reply to by P. Johnson

The refund program from the US Department of Justice started in November 2017, five months ago. If you filed a claim for a refund from the US Department of Justice, you can get information at FTC.gov/WU.

It may take up to a year to process and verify people’s claims about refunds from the US Department of Justice, and determine who is eligible to get a payment. The FTC will put news on the  FTC.gov/WU page when there is new information.

Paula in pa
April 24, 2018
What if it happened after January 2017? Should the same process be followed?
FTC Staff
April 26, 2018

In reply to by Paula in pa

If you used Western Union to send money to a scammer after January 19, 2017, you are not eligible to file a claim for a refund.

You can report a scam that happened after January 19, 2017 to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint and to Western Union's Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492.

thank you
April 26, 2018
How will we personally know whether or not we are successful in our claim?
FTC Staff
April 26, 2018

In reply to by thank you

The US Department of Justice must review the claims that people filed. It might take one year or longer to review the claims and determine who is eligible to get a payment. We will put information at FTC.gov/WU when we have news about the refunds process.

thank you
April 26, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

yes, but as you mentioned before some people will be successful and some people will not in getting a refund. how will we know our individual outcome?
FTC Staff
April 30, 2018

In reply to by thank you

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 for the claims that were denied. Payments won't begin until the appeal process for the claims that were denied is concluded.

Don't use your…
May 02, 2018
can i claim from ontario canada?
FTC Staff
May 03, 2018

In reply to by Don't use your…

Yes, you can file a claim from Ontario Canada. You must file a claim by May 31, 2018. Go to FTC.gov/WU to start the process.

mbenne11
May 07, 2018
Is there any way to check to see if you received our claim form?
FTC Staff
May 16, 2018

In reply to by mbenne11

You can contact the refund administrator and ask if it received your claim form. The contact information is on this page.

Need to confirm
May 11, 2018
I submitted my claim ages ago but I have finally located the receipt, MTCN, amount etc. what email address do I send that additional info to?
FTC Staff
May 16, 2018

In reply to by Need to confirm

You can contact the refund administrator and ask how to add information to your claim. The refund administrator's contact information is on this page.

Shortstuff
May 15, 2018
If you owe child support will they do an offset on your refund
FTC Staff
May 16, 2018

In reply to by Shortstuff

The US Department of Justice refund administrator has questions and answers on its website, including this: If your claim is approved, the Treasury Offset Program must review it to verify that you do not owe any money to the federal government or certain state debts. If you owe money, your payment will be used to pay your debt. If your payment is more than the amount you owe, you will get the remainder.

Gina20
May 16, 2018
I have several claims. I live in New Zealand and was told to submit forms by copying them on to a special form but if I can just send the copies of Western Union transactions, that would be great. I have around $30,000 NZD claim and have been left destitute by a scammer. I hope to get this to you as soon as possible . I require an answer to ensure I'm sending it to claim in the correct manner. Thanks for the opportunity to make my life a little easier as this has traumatised me greatly and I have suffered bad health since - heart attack, brain tumour and dissolving bones all from stress and have lost my home as a result.
FTC Staff
May 17, 2018

In reply to by Gina20

No, you can't make a proper claim by sending copies of the transactions. The deadline to file is May 31, 2018 - two weeks from today.

You can file a claim online, or by printing a paper form and sending it to the US by postal mail. You don't have to be a US citizen or in the US to file a claim.

To file online, go to FTC.gov/WU. Read about the claim process. To file online, click the orange button near the top of the FTC.gov/WU page to connect to the claim filing website.

Daschmidt
May 18, 2018
Hi, I was scammed for $800.00 a few years ago. Will I at least receive that amount back from claim? How does this work?
FTC Staff
May 21, 2018

In reply to by Daschmidt

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 your money back. Go to FTC.gov/WU to file a claim. The deadline to file a claim is May 31, 2018.

Each person’s claim must be verified by DOJ. If your claim is verified, the amount you get will depend on how much you lost and the number of people who submit valid claims. If you owe money to the federal government or for certain state debts, your refund could be reduced by the amount you owe.

Got burned
May 20, 2018
My claims are 10/6/17 to 1/24/18. Is there any way I can recoup money from the scammer?
FTC Staff
May 21, 2018

In reply to by Got burned

You can report the loss to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint and to the wire transfer company you used. You can call the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 or 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.

Awill08
May 22, 2018
I mailed my claim in January 2018 and I have not heard anything back. How can I check on the status of my claim?
FTC Staff
May 22, 2018

In reply to by Awill08

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.

monina.
May 25, 2018

pls can you help me to bring all money.i scam with bennyhinn fb.last dec.to jan..can you help me...

FTC Staff
May 25, 2018

In reply to by monina.

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

If you sent money after January 19, 2017, you can report that to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint and to the wire transfer company you used. Call the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 or 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.

Ahmed
July 25, 2018

I sent money to delivery company and after that the company asked me to change the receiver i went to the western union office to change bout they said that the money already received and i asked the company they said we did not received the money I just want to know the money has been received or refunded ?? Please answer

FTC Staff
July 25, 2018

In reply to by Ahmed

You can ask the Western Union office about the money transfer. The FTC does not have information about your money transfer.

Karina
August 27, 2018
Hello. I filled the claim form last January. Soon after I got email with my claim ID number only. To see case review requires Pin number. But I didn't get one. How can I see my claim process online?
FTC Staff
August 27, 2018

In reply to by Karina

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.

Chesseesmile
October 22, 2018
I was scammed when I tried to buy a parrot. I sent money in minutes.is there a way the receiver can be red flagged and in the future be denied to be able to pick up money? And the ban is in all locations? Other people can ban their scammer also making them unable to collect there money? We talked by text..he took his add off cragslist then was asking for my Google voice mail? Number code sent to me. I want to get my money back or mabe get him arrested or get him flagged where he can't pick up money in ANY location. Other scammer the same thing..
N.Palmz
October 10, 2018
If I sent everything in back in February of 2018, when will I receive my reimbursement? I havent even been notified. No confirmation that they recieved my documents for a reimbursement.
Lmmc03
October 29, 2018
When will the money be paid back if you filed a claim And how can I find out if mine was excepted?:-)