DCCA News Release: VICTIMS OF FRAUD MAY NOW SEEK COMPENSATION FROM $586M WESTERN UNION FUND

Posted on Dec 4, 2017 in Latest News

HONOLULU – Stephen Levins, executive director of the State of Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection announced today that Hawaii consumers who were deceived into sending payments to scammers using Western Union’s wire transfer service may now apply for compensation by filing a claim at www.FTC.gov/WU before February 12, 2018.

The refund program follows a settlement with the Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection and 49 other states, the District of Columbia, and Western Union, which in January 2017 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 and received hundreds of thousands of complaints about fraud-induced money transfers made for fraudulent lottery and prizes, family emergencies, advance-fee loans, online dating and other scams. The company also allegedly failed to promptly discipline problem Western Union agents, and failed to have effective anti-fraud policies and procedures.

Consumers may be eligible to receive compensation if they were a victim of a fraud-induced transfer using Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017. Affected consumers should go to www.FTC.gov/WU to file claims, learn more, or get updates on the claims process.

Some people who have already reported their losses to Western Union, the FTC, or to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs will receive a form in the mail from the claims administrator, Gilardi & Co. The form will have a Claim ID and a PIN number to use when filing a claim online. Gilardi was hired by Justice Department, which is responsible for returning victims’ money as part of its settlement with Western Union.
Filing a claim is free, so consumers should not pay anyone to file a claim on their behalf. No one associated with the claims process will ever call to ask for consumers’ bank account or credit card number.

If you did not receive a claim form in the mail but believe you may have an eligible claim, please visit http://www.westernunionremission.com or call 1-844-319-2124 for more information on how to file a claim. All completed claims forms must be mailed back to the settlement administrator by February 12, 2018.

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