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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


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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.

Nunya
August 18, 2019
I’m starting to be like others and say this a scam. I understand that it takes awhile but this is now 2 years of “verifying” claims. I feel the ones that have been verified should get their funds and not have to wait until the investigation is over #MyOpinion. And don’t write back saying it takes time... it’s already been almost 2 years now!
Nunya
August 18, 2019
Now what is going on
FTC Staff
August 28, 2019

In reply to by Nunya

The company hired to handle the refunds - Gilardi & Co. - has not sent out decisions about who is eligible. The FTC's information page about refunds is www.FTC.gov/WU. Gilardi & Co. has information at www.WesternUnionRemission.com. You can check those pages for updates.

JP
August 27, 2019
I keep reading all the comments that are being made regarding this settlement and people are wanting & need their refunds. Seems that the Admission Administrator should start reading them too. I have contacted them also but every time you get a different answer saying it will take a yr. or more. This is ridiculous on their part cause they should have know that a large number of claims had to be processed and they should seek additional help if they can't handle it. Are they just trying to eat up a large portion of the funds for their fees? It appears that way to me. It has been ample time for them to make refunds to the claims that were filed correctly as they were suppose to be filed and the 38,000 people that did not file as instructed then make their refunds later cause they had instructions as how they should be file and they did not that is their fault for not following instructions. Gilardi & Co. should speed this up and start making refunds now.
Caseysnook
August 27, 2019
I filed a claim a few years ago now and I’m curious what the status is on any of the claims? I haven’t heard a word or been able to see anything online about where/when/or what the progress is. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
FTC Staff
August 28, 2019

In reply to by Caseysnook

The company hired to handle the refunds - Gilardi & Co. - has not sent out decisions about who is eligible. The FTC's information page about refunds is www.FTC.gov/WU. Gilardi & Co. has information at www.WesternUnionRemission.com. You can check those pages for updates.

MikaEl Cali
September 01, 2019
Update from April 2019, is the date for claims was extended to June 2019. So those like myself that are getting this refund will have to be more patient still. I filed mine back in Nov 2017. Still waiting.
Patient Victim
September 02, 2019
I have been waiting almost 2 whole years now for any refund and there has been no word of any kind regarding this except for a brief word that the new dead line for submitting additional information would be extended until June 30th, 2019 or some date close to this. What is going on? Is this organization legitimate or what?
FTC Staff
September 04, 2019

In reply to by Patient Victim

The company hired to handle the refunds - Gilardi & Co. - has not sent out decisions about who is eligible. The FTC's information page about refunds is www.FTC.gov/WU. Gilardi & Co. has information at www.WesternUnionRemission.com. You can check those pages for updates.

Patient Victim
September 02, 2019
My scam occurred in 2012 & 2013, involving an International Scam Ring. I filed with Gilardi in 2017, and received a deficiency letter, and filed again in March of 2019. Still not a word, no notification/s etc. I am beginning to wonder if Gilardi is legitimate and when will we ever hear a word of whether or not we will recieve anything back or not? Why or why is it taking so long?
FTC Staff
September 04, 2019

In reply to by Patient Victim

The company hired to handle the refunds - Gilardi & Co. - has not sent out decisions about who is eligible. The FTC's information page about refunds is www.FTC.gov/WU. Gilardi & Co. has information at www.WesternUnionRemission.com. You can check those pages for updates.

Patient Victim
September 03, 2019
I am in agreement with another’s comment regarding Gilardi and Company’s eating up a large portion of the settlement due to the extremely long processing and verifying times that it is taking them. Maybey they should be investigated and verified.
Peter B
September 04, 2019
I sent a fully documented claim in to WUR and received an acknowledgement and a Claim Reference Number back in January 2018. I have just received an email from WUR which states that I have not submitted the necessary forms AND it now quotes a completely different amount of claim. Is this a scam?
FTC Staff
September 04, 2019

In reply to by Peter B

The US Department of Justice hired Gilardi & Co to manage the refund process. Go to www.WesternUnionRemission.com for information from Gilardi & Co. about the refund process. You can email Gilardi & Co. at info@WesternUnionRemission.com  or call 844-319-2124.

Ralph W
September 13, 2019

In reply to by Peter B

Same thing with me. I attached copies of all my WU payments to the Remission Claim online form, plus other evidence and my passport. Two weeks ago I got the same email as Peter B. I don't think the attachments were looked at at all. I emailed info WU, sending all my evidence again. They did not have the decency to acknowledge receipt.
Ralph W
September 13, 2019

In reply to by Peter B

Secondly in response to Peter B. The recent email from the legal company stated that the amount was wrong which was incorrect. My WU receipts were paid in EUROS and received by the scammer in Ottawa in Canadian Dollars. In the remission claim box I emphasised the total I sent as EUROS. It was unclear in the remission form of when the exchange rate from EUROS to US Dollars should take place. For instance at the time of the transactions, or the time of the remission claim, or the recent email from the legal company. The legal company must have accountants to activate the exchange rate into US Dollars. The Spanish Correos (Post Office) was very diligent in checking my ID, copying my passport into the WU database. So why can't the legal company go into that database, check my passport against what I sent them recently, see that I made 5 transactions to the scammer in Canada named TG and stop this harassment of asking for documentary proof when they have everything already on their database. They could also check that I contacted the internet fraud department of the RCMP and HSBC (UK) for proof of my claim against WU. It's easy.
Margit-Katharina
September 05, 2019
I got a EMail that i have to send all documents in copy. The half of it are papers that i still have (no Problem), the other half was EMails because i had a only account at WU and sent it fromthere. Now last year my PC crashes an all Mail are lost. I made a xls sheet two years ago with all information, also the msctn. Can WU find these in the history from my account and restore this mails?
FTC Staff
September 12, 2019

In reply to by Margit-Katharina

According to the Western Union website, you can request a receipt by emailing the company:

  1. Go to the Western Union Email Help Center.
  2. Choose Copy of Money Transfer Receipt from the list.
  3. Complete the form and click “Submit.”

Read more about Western Union refunds at www.FTC.gov/WU and www.WesternUnionRemission.com.

Joanna1227
September 06, 2019
I have exactly the same experience as PeterB. I submitted my documentation to Gilardi & Co in January 2018, they acknowledged having received it in an email in March 2018. A few days ago they sent me an email saying I did not provide any documentation at all! What is going on?
Blmitch11
September 10, 2019
When will refund checks be issued?
Jackie
September 12, 2019
hi to my understanding I thought all the settlement in deadline was last year in 2018 and 2019 checks supposed to be distributed now it's going on 2020 I think some people feel like they're being scammed again from all the information they handed out could you please let us know what's going on and why the checks are not being issued
FTC Staff
September 17, 2019

In reply to by Jackie

The FTC has information about the settlement at www.FTC.gov/WU. The settlement administrator, Gilardi & Co., has information at www.WesternUnionRemission.com. There are questions and answers about the settlement and contact information for the administrator on the Gilardi & Co. website.

Pam81
September 18, 2019
I've been waiting since this first started over 2 years ago. I got sent a letter in the mail and it said how much I would receive. I signed it and dated it and sent it back in. I called a few weeks later to make sure they received the letter and they did. It's not fair for people that's owed money not to get it because alot of other didn't take the time to complete their forms correctly.
Sassiedog9
September 19, 2019
I returned all documents required, I also informed them I was moving from Colorado to Arkansas and supplied them with the forwarding address. No reply. And I need to get my confirmation number again. To many hoops to jump through.
FTC Staff
September 20, 2019

In reply to by Sassiedog9

The contact information for the company that is managing the refunds is on this website: www.WesternUnionRemission.com. You can email them at info@WesternUnionRemission.com or call 844-319-2124. There are updates about the refunds on that website.

T.B
September 23, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

Maybe you should give more information then the same message to everyone and make sure that the people you are sending us to are actually people and are going to respond
B
September 23, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

That page you are directing us to has their most recent update from April. We are after a real update, not pointing us to an outdated page.
FTC Staff
September 24, 2019

In reply to by B

The website I provided - www.WesternUnionRemission.com - is for the US Department of Justice's refund administrator, Gilardi & Co.

That is where Gilardi & Co., working in cooperation with the US Department of Justice, posts information about the refund process, legal documents, frequently asked questions and contact information.

scammed
January 16, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

the "frequently asked questions" doesn't answer the "most frequently asked questions".... When??? What is going on??? Who is collecting the interest earned? (FTC... FED TREASURY... ???) How about a class action against the US DOJ and Gilardi...???
Waiting “Forev…
March 09, 2020

In reply to by scammed

I feel exactly the same way you do. I have been waiting about 2 years now, and there has been virtually no word regarding refunds. Galardi’s info page does not list any new thing or information. The last remark from them is dated September, 2019. Something needs to be done to get this thing “moving”........
Charles M
September 20, 2019
I was scam out of two hundred and fifty Dollars I was told it will take up to a year to get it back I haven’t seen a Dime of the money yet it be pass a year now when will I receive my money
Grandma
September 22, 2019
My 90 yr old Mom got scammed out of over $5,000 through Western Union money transfers earlier this year. After their “investigation” says she’s not qualified for any refund. Is there any other options for her to recoup some of her money?
JP
September 30, 2019
There are no updates regarding this settlement at all and every time you call the Administrator Gilardi & Co. you get no answer either all they can say it will take time well it has been plenty long enough now and people are wondering what is going on. Don't you think it is time for them to start making disbursements . They are running up a big fee for their services as well and this started in Jan. 2017, it is now Sept. 30, 2019, long enough for people to be waiting. The Dept. of Justice needs to speed this matter up. Thank you
Barbara weiler
October 14, 2019
I submitted my information before the deadline last year and they sent me a paper saying that I was only entitled to $8 less than what I paid Western Union when I reviewed the paperwork Western Union and take a $8 out for their fee. I return the paperwork but I've heard nothing since
JP
October 17, 2019
You keep saying to check the website for updates well there are no updates and when you call the administrator seems they give an answer either so what is going on? It has been a long time now and you would think it has been long enough for them to process all claims and make refunds. They should have already has this all processed by now. People have waited and been patience enough. Maybe they are just doing this for a very larger fee. Something is not being done as it should be. over 2 YEARS now
Wow
October 23, 2019

In reply to by JP

If you check the latest update on september 30, 2019, they are saying that they are still taking petitions for refunds even after september 30, 2019. This means we are gonna wait forever for our refunds.
dda123dda
October 21, 2019
I wish I knew about the class action suit against the scamming from the dates mention, because I lost over 10k total when it was happening before these crooks got exposed on public news medians. Thank God we have these protectors in place to help us today. I never recovered financially from those scammers(thieves) who took advantage of our hard earned dollars through false advertisements of sweepstakes and lotteries which we were convinced we won. God bless the FTC and the cyber police who can do their best to put an end to these criminal acts. I am still struggling to make it in my daily life financially after these horrible acts of misconduct from criminals. May God expose these criminals and bring them all to an end. I pray for justice for people like myself and for anyone else who were victimized by criminals stealing from others.
BOB
October 24, 2019
SINCE THIS IS TAKING SO LONG WHO IS SITTING ON OUR 586 MILL COLLECTING INTREST?
JP
October 25, 2019

In reply to by BOB

You can get no answers regarding this settlement from anyone. Seems they don't know nothing except it will take time. Gilardi it appears is taking as long as they want to and running up a large fee in doing so. We want our refunds NOW
althieac
October 25, 2019
I received a letter a couple of years ago stating that I was identified as a consumer that was a part of scam of sending money to a scammer. I sent $1200 - $1400 (don't remember the exact amount) in 2010. I mailed my letter back to claim my refund and I also registered on line. I have never received any other letters or notifications since the initial request. How do I find out if I am going to receive a refund?
FTC Staff
October 25, 2019

In reply to by althieac

The FTC has information about the refund process at www.FTC.gov/WU. The website for the company that is handling the refunds is www.WesternUnionRemission.com. There is contact information for the company on this page if you want to ask about your refund.

Sandra
October 26, 2019
How much longer before we hear anything about when refunds will be given out
ESSENCE48
October 28, 2019
Is it too late to file a claim, or has the deadline been extended for 2019? I was scammed back in 2004. I still have documentation.
Money go Lightly
October 29, 2019
I sent all information in way ahead of deadline haven't heard anything back still waiting !!!
Nunya
November 14, 2019
Can this settlement be over with and funds disbursed in time for Christmas??? It’s been over a year already. Like what and why are we still waiting?
becky2004vernon
November 20, 2019
When will we receive our refund from Western Union Remissions? Please call me.
Upset family
December 11, 2019
I'm so upset by all this because in January 2014 I was scammed and on my son birthday lost 1500 due to being scammed and because I couldn't get western union to send me the information that was needed I still lose out on getting my money back. This is so unfair.
Reconsideration
January 28, 2022

In reply to by Upset family

I sent everything they need and DOJ sent me back partial from the information I had sent. Western Union only goes back 5 years. I don't need that anyway because DOJ has it. Still owe me $928. DOJ got the information off of the originals.