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LATEST: Western Union paying back $586 million to victims of wire scams

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Posted at 1:31 PM, Apr 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-06 10:04:49-04
Earlier this year, Western Union settled a $586 million lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, agreeing to return money to people who were tricked into wiring money to scammers. The DOJ is handling the refunds however, according to the FTC, the process has not started.  
 
The FTC published this update on its website:
 
  • Western Union still has more time to pay all of the $586 million.
  • Once DOJ has all of the money - later this year - they’ll open up the process for people to make claims. They call it a “Petition for Remission” process.
  • If you sent money via Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, and lost it to a scammer, you might be eligible for a refund.
  • DOJ will have to verify all the claims it gets before it can send out refunds. That might take at least a year.
  • All eligible claimants will get some money back, but how much depends on how much you lost, how many people ask for a refund, and how big the total losses are.
In the meantime, you're asked to keep your paperwork, including receipts and materials related to the scam, in case you need it to file your claim. Also, don't pay anyone who offers to get you the refund in return for money.