Scammed consumers can file claims with Western Union

Consumers who lost money to scammers via Western Union are being encouraged to file claims.

The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions recently joined with the Federal Trade Commission in alerting consumers who were victimized by scammers via Western Union’s money transfer system that they can file claims and potentially recoup their money.

Consumers who lost funds between Jan. 1, 2004, and Jan. 19, 2017, can file claims online at Claims must be filed by May 31.

“For too long, Western Union looked the other way while allowing consumers to be ripped off by scam artists,” said Cheryll Olson-Collins, administrator of DFI’s Division of Banking. “We’re pleased that any Wisconsin consumers who were victimized will have the opportunity to get their money back.”

In January 2017, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million to resolve charges brought by the FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice. The FTC alleged that fraudsters were able to use Western Union’s money transfer system to get payments from their victims, even though the company was aware of the problem.

Some consumers who have already reported their losses to Western Union, the FTC or another government agency will receive a form in the mail from the claims administrator, Gilardi & Co.

Filing a claim is free. The FTC advised consumers that no one associated with the claims process will ever call to ask for consumers’ bank account or credit card numbers.

For information, visit online.