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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.
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  • 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.

brbmckenna3
September 29, 2020
Its funny..last week I was Going through some papers and I found my initial claim papers. This is from 2016 . I see that some checks have been Mailed out and I receive the exact amount that I requested yesterday, now people are telling me to throw it away..I believe its legit
Vmartin82
October 08, 2020
I got a check last week. It was only for one of the transaction. I didn't get the money for the transaction I could not get mtcn numbers because it was done over 10 years ago.
FTC Staff
October 08, 2020

In reply to by Vmartin82

In this FTC blog from September 23, 2020, we said that the US Department of Justice (DOJ)  plans to provide a way for people to provide additional documentation to support claims that haven’t been approved yet. When there is information about how to provide additional documentation, DOJ will post it on the Western Union Remission site.

FTC Staff
October 08, 2020

In reply to by Vmartin82

In this FTC blog from September 23, 2020, we said that the US Department of Justice (DOJ)  plans to provide a way for people to provide additional documentation to support claims that haven’t been approved yet. When there is information about how to provide additional documentation, DOJ will post it on the Western Union Remission site.

Reconsideration
January 24, 2022

In reply to by FTC Staff

I had no choice but to send the originals for my case. They were so old you could barely read them but were readable. Therefore copies were no option and to get those from Western Union is not only a chore but impossible when they only go back 5 years. After only receiving part of my refund I was still owed $928.00. I received a reconsideration request with 10 different transactions..(all of this was filled out on the claim form when it was sent in February 2018) 3 were missing MTCN number's, 1 was missing 6 number's and started with 0244..Western Union Transaction MTCN #'s do not start with 0244. 6 were missing Sent Dates. But they all had Sent Amounts (USD). How is all this information missing when it's rite before their eyes to see. This makes no sense at all. It has been a year and 5 months and heard nothing. All I get is it's under review under review. It was supposed to be completed by the end of 2021 but now they say the end of the quarter of 2022.
michael11623739
January 12, 2021
i received a refund last year but no one seems to know if it's taxable>
Not Happy!!
May 23, 2021
I am not happy with this so called refund for people that used WU to send money to Nigeria or anywhere else. I submitted the money order transfer numbers on several transfers over the course of 6 to 8 months that I made for several thousand dollars that I got scammed for that I sent to Nigeria before the deadline. About nearly a year later I received a card in the mail that I did not qualify for a refund in the class action suit! I do not understand why I did not qualify and was unable to get any answers. I just now saw this comment section so I thought I would try to get an answer here.
Nathaniel D Holmes
September 25, 2021
PS I'M sure u all have records on my situation of being scammed Please let me know if u all can still help me ASAP