Crime - Sacto 911

Scam victims who paid via Western Union may be eligible for refunds

A deal between Western Union and the federal Department of Justice will allow some people to recoup money they sent to scam artists using the wire transfer service.
A deal between Western Union and the federal Department of Justice will allow some people to recoup money they sent to scam artists using the wire transfer service. Associated Press file

Some people who lost money to scams and made the payments via Western Union wire transfers may be eligible for refunds.

The Roseville Police Department is alerting victims to refunds available through a settlement between Western Union and the federal Department of Justice..

Following a joint investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million and admitted aiding and abetting wire fraud by facilitating payment to scam artists via wire transfers, according to the FTC website. The Department of Justice is now using that money to provide refunds to people who were tricked into using Western Union to pay scammers. The deadline for submitting a claim is Feb. 12.

The types of scams covered include:

  • Online or internet purchase scams, in which items you attempted to buy online were not received.
  • Lottery or prize promotion scams, in which you were told you won a lottery or sweepstakes but never received the prize.
  • Emergency or grandparent scams, in which you sent money to someone pretending to be a relative or friend in urgent need of money.
  • Advance-fee loan scams, in which you paid upfront fees but did not receive the promised loan.
  • Online dating or romance scams, in which you sent money to someone who created a fake profile on a dating or social networking website.

Anyone who sent money to a scammer using Western Union wire transfer between Jan. 1, 2004, and Jan. 19, 2017, may submit a claim. Each claim will be verified by the Department of Justice, and the amount refunded will depend on the amount lost and the number of people who submit valid claims, according to the FTC.

More information is available on the Federal Trade Commission website, https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/refunds/western-union-settlement-faqs.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

  Comments