Deadline Approaching For Delaware Scam Victims Who Used Western Union To Claim Repayments

Delaware consumers who used Western Union from 2004 to 2017 to send money to scammers and lost their money are reminded they have a month to file a claim to get their money back under a legal settlement.

Under a settlement between Western Union and state attorneys general, including Delaware, anyone who was tricked by scammers into sending money by Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017 can go to before February 12, 2018.

Some people who have already reported their losses to Western Union, the Federal Trade Commission, or another government agency 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 via 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 lost or did not receive a claim form, there is also a link on which will enable you to file.

The attached graphic from the FTC is a simple explanation of the claims process.

The settlement with Western Union came after state and federal consumer protection agencies 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 settlement announced in January 2017 required $586 million from Western Union to repay consumers, and required Western Union to develop and put into action a comprehensive anti-fraud program designed to help detect and prevent incidents where consumers wire money to scam artists.

Previous Announcements from the Delaware Department of Justice regarding the settlement and claims process can be found at and

Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn Announces Settlement With Western Union

Attorney General Matt Denn along with the attorneys general of 48 states and the District of Columbia Tuesday announced a settlement with Colorado-based The Western Union Company (“Western Union”) to resolve a multistate investigation focused on complaints of consumers who used Western Union’s wire transfer service to send money to third parties involved in schemes to defraud consumers.

The settlement requires Western Union to develop and put into action a comprehensive anti-fraud program designed to help detect and prevent incidents where consumers who have been the victims of fraud use Western Union to wire money to scam artists.

Criminal scams that involve wiring money include: lottery and contest scams in which consumers are told they have won a large sum of money but must first wire money to pay required taxes or fees before receiving their winnings; “grandparent scams” in which a consumer believes his or her loved one is in immediate danger and needs money right away; and romance scams in which someone poses as a love interest and then soon begins asking consumers to send money for various reasons, such as medical emergencies, car accidents, muggings, and emergency travel.

“Consumers who receive solicitations from strangers promising big winnings should toss those letters in the trash, delete the e-mail or hang up the phone,” Attorney General Denn said. “And consumers who meet someone online should be cautious about wiring money, particularly if meeting in person has never taken place. Unfortunately, some victims send money multiple times to the scam artist before realizing they have been duped.”

That anti-fraud program, which Western Union has agreed to evaluate and update as warranted, includes the following elements:

• Anti-fraud warnings on send forms that consumers use to wire money;
• Mandatory and appropriate training and education for Western Union’s agents about fraud-induced wire transfers;
• Heightened anti-fraud procedures when warranted by circumstances such as increased fraud complaints;
• Due diligence checks on Western Union agents who process money transfers;
• Monitoring of Western Union agent activity related to prevention of fraud-induced money transfers; and
• Prompt and appropriate disciplinary action against Western Union agents who fail to follow required protocols concerning anti-fraud measures.

Victims of fraud induced wire transfers nationwide, including Delaware victims, will receive refunds as part of a settlement between Western Union and the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice that was announced on January 19, 2017. In that settlement, Western Union will pay $586 million to a fund that the U.S. Department of Justice will administer to provide refunds to consumers. In the settlement with the states announced Tuesday, Western Union will pay a total of $5 million to be split among the states for the states’ costs and fees associated with the investigations that led to the settlements, with Delaware receiving $43,630 for the state Consumer Protection Fund.

Delaware Department of Justice Consumer Protection Director and Deputy Attorney General Christian Wright worked on the investigation for Delaware.

Information about the federal settlement is available at here, and information about the victim compensation process will be made available here.