WASHINGTON — Western Union is returning millions of dollars to fraud victims through a two-phase remission compensation process.
According to the Department of Justice, in 2017, Western Union entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the Department of Justice and agreed to forfeit $586 million. The Justice Department has already distributed more than $366 million to over 148,000 victims.
Because funds are still available, the Justice Department is relaunching the petition process for those who may have been impacted but didn’t submit a petition before.
If you sent a money transfer through Western Union between January 1, 2004, and January 19, 2017, and were a victim of fraud, you can file a petition online to receive compensation. That petition form can be found here.
You have until August 31 to file a petition.
More information regarding the remission process – including eligibility criteria, updates, and frequently asked questions – is available at the remission website or by calling 1-855-786-1048.
Federal authorities say scammers targeted customers, especially seniors, with various scams, convincing victims to send money through Western Union.
The Justice Department found three main scams were used: the ‘grandparent scam,’ in which fraudsters pretended to be a victim’s relative in immediate need of money; lottery and sweepstake scams, where victims were told they had won a prize, but needed to pay fees like taxes to get the prize; and romance scams in which suspects posed as online love interests and asked a victim for money in order to visit them or for some other reason.
As part of the DPA, Western Union “acknowledged responsibility for its criminal conduct, which included violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and aiding and abetting wire fraud, and agreed to forfeit $586 million, which has been made available to compensate victims of an international consumer fraud scheme.”
Gilardi & Co. LLC is overseeing the remission process. Neither Gilardi & Co. LLC nor the Department of Justice will ask you for any payment to participate in this remission process.