ALERT: People have reported scam emails about the Western Union refund program. Do not reply to any emails telling you to apply for a refund or to provide personal information. The deadline to apply has passed. Any requests for additional information regarding your claim will come by postal mail.
The deadline to apply for a refund was May 31, 2018. We are not accepting any new claims. The verification process could take up to a year. We will not make any final decisions or issue any payments until all claims have been reviewed and verified.
The refund administrator, Gilardi & Co., is working to verify claims now. On March 29, Gilardi & Co. mailed over 38,000 letters to people who filed a claim with one or more of these problems:
- the petition was unsigned
- a Social Security number or other taxpayer identification number was not provided
- receipts or other supporting documents for the claim amount were not provided.
If you got a letter, you can submit your response via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
When the verification process is complete, we will post an update here.
Here are FAQs about the refund program:
What is this case about?
For years, many people who lost money to scams sent their payment through a Western Union wire transfer. Scammers contacted people and promised prizes, loans, jobs, discounted products or other financial rewards in exchange for money upfront. They also pretended to be family members in need of cash or law enforcement officers demanding payment. The scammers told people to send money through Western Union. No one received the cash, prizes or services they were promised.
Because of joint investigations by the FTC, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the U. S. Postal Inspection Service, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million and admitted to aiding and abetting wire fraud. DOJ is now using that money to provide refunds to people who were tricked into using Western Union to pay scammers.
What was the deadline to file a claim?
The deadline to file a claim was May 31, 2018. We are not accepting any new claims.
I got a letter asking me to provide documents to support my claim. Can I get a copy of my receipt from Western Union?
According to the Western Union website, you can request a receipt by emailing the company:
- Go to the Western Union Email Help Center.
- Choose Copy of Money Transfer Receipt from the list.
- Complete the form and click “Submit.”
Who was eligible to submit a claim?
People who sent money to a scammer through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017 were eligible to submit a claim.
Will I definitely get my money back?
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.
Only the amount you transferred via Western Union is eligible for a refund. Other expenses like Western Union fees, other losses, or transfers sent through other businesses are not eligible for a refund.
When will I get a payment?
It may take up to a year to process and verify people’s claims and determine who is eligible to get a payment. We will update this page when we have more information.
What kinds of scams are covered by these refunds?
A wide variety of scams may be covered by this settlement, including:
- Online or internet scams – you did not receive the items you tried to buy online
- Lottery or prize promotion scams – you were told you won a lottery or sweepstakes, but never got the prize
- Emergency or grandparent scams – you sent money to someone pretending to be a relative or friend in urgent need of money
- Advance-fee loan scams – you paid upfront fees, but did not get the promised loans
- Online dating or romance scams – you sent money to someone who created a fake profile on a dating or social networking website.
Where can I get more information?
For the latest information about remission process: