Western Union remission. It sounds like a disease. Or a scam. In fact, it’s neither. The Western Union remission process allows victims who sent money to a scammer via Western Union to file for a refund. Victims shouldn’t get overly excited though. This is a settlement between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Western Union, not a case of a company developing a guilty conscience because they aided and abetted wire fraud. Here are a few things you need to know about the process.
The bottom line
Business is all about profits. Western Union made a ton of money off of people scammers instructed to wire money to help stranded relatives, make purchases, pay tax penalties, etc. On the flip side, government regulations and agencies such as the DOJ try to keep businesses from profiting unfairly. For years, Western Union profited while consumers lost.
With all that said, consumers need to realize that in all likelihood they will not get back everything they lost. There is a settlement pool of $586 million from which victims will be paid. Victims will receive compensation based on how many consumers file claims and the amounts of those claims.
The fine print in the deal
Aiding and abetting wire fraud are serious charges. That’s why the DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission, and the US Postal Inspection Service became involved. It’s also the reason Western Union probably agreed to the settlement. It was cheaper for them to cop to a deal than it was to fight in court. With that said, there are limitations to the Western Union remission.
- Victims must file a claim by February 12, 2018 to be eligible for compensation. Online claim forms are available at kccsecure.com.
- The fraud must have occurred between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017.
- Claims must be verified by the Department of Justice.
- It may take a year to process payments.
Why the Western Union remission settlement came about
The Federal Trade Commission’s complaint against Western Union accused the company of ignoring consumer complaints and not taking action against a small number of Western Union agents who were facilitating fraud. For example, less than 1% of the Western Union agents in Mexico accounted for over 80% of the fraud claims.
In the United States and Canada, authorities arrested thirty-nine agents for mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. That number more than triples in other countries. A few agents were directly involved in scams, yet Western Union did nothing to stop them.
- If you were affected, file a claim. You may have received a form in the mail from Gilardi & Co., LLC. If not, file online at kccsecure.com.
- Learn more by visiting the FTC website page for the settlement.
- If you have additional questions, you can email the administrator at email@example.com or call at 1-844-319-2124.