Mississippians May Now File Claims To Be Reimbursed for Money Lost In Scams Using Western Union
JACKSON—After reaching a settlement in January with money-transfer service Western Union over money laundering and consumer fraud violations, Mississippians who were deceived into sending payments to scammers using Western Union’s wire transfer over the past 13 years may now apply for compensation, Attorney General Jim Hood announced today.
Mississippians 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. A typical fraud transfer in this case would include a scammer getting their victims to wire them money by making the victim believe it was for a lottery, family emergency, online dating, and other tactics.
Compensation for victims of fraud will come from a $586 million fund administered by the Department of Justice’s Victim Asset Recovery Program. This fund is related to a multi-state settlement with General Hood and 49 other states, the District of Columbia, and Western Union that was first announced in January.
All complaints that were filed with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office covering the relevant time period were sent to Western Union after the settlement was announced. Those individuals and any Mississippians who reported to Western Union or another government agency that they had been the victim of a scam using Western Union will be sent a claim form in the mail. The claim form will be sent from the settlement administrator, Gilardi & Co., in the next two weeks. The form will contain instructions explaining how consumers may file their claim to receive compensation.
However, if you did not previously file a complaint, you may still be eligible to submit a claim directly to Western Union. If you 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.
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.
“For years, Western Union allowed scammers to use its money transfer system to get payments from victims, even though they received hundreds of thousands of complaints about money transfers that were induced by fraud and deceit,” said General Hood. “Because they chose to ignore the problem instead of implementing policies and procedures to better protect consumers, they are now having to reimburse consumers for these loses.”
All completed claims forms must be mailed back to the settlement administrator by February 12, 2018. The Attorney General’s Office encourages Mississippians to reach out to our Consumer Protection Division if they have questions or concerns at 1-800-281-4418 or [email protected]
AG Jim Hood Press Release