Western Union Fraud Refunds: Information for B.C. Investors

If you lost money to a scammer through Western Union, you may be eligible for a refund.

Recently, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a $586 million settlement with Western Union. Western Union admitted to aiding and abetting wire fraud. The settlement applies to Western Union transactions between January 1, 2004, and January 19, 2017.

Claims for a refund must be submitted to the FTC by May 31, 2018. Claims are submitted through the FTC website at FTC.gov/WU.

Canadians are able to submit claims. Victims do not need a receipt to file a claim against Western Union because transactions can be verified.

Protect Yourself from Scams

A number of the Western Union scams in the settlement involved the sending of money to another person or company as part of an offer or transaction.

You can also follow these tips to avoid falling for any type of scam, especially one that’s online:

  • Never give out your personal information online, including your home address, phone number, full name, or banking information
  • Don’t expect to get rich quick or make a lot of money fast
  • Don’t fall for claims that say this information is only for certain people
  • Install anti-spam software
  • Don’t reply to emails from people you don’t know and never click links or download attachments in unsolicited emails
  • Research opportunities and the person offering you the investment before making a decision

How to Avoid an Investment Scam

BCSC InvestRight’s Investment Fraud Warning Signs are a helpful guide to avoid investment scams and other schemes. The fraud warning signs include:

  • High-returns with no risk
  • Access to exclusive or secret opportunities
  • Claims that the investment is offshore and tax-free
  • Pressure to act quickly before the offer goes away
  • Targeting community, ethnic, or religious groups with similar investment offers

We also have tips to avoid a variety of investment scams and the ways fraudsters target victims. This information is available on the Spot Investment Scams page.

Spot an Investment Scam

Report Scams to the British Columbia Securities Commission

The BCSC is available to handle tips or complaints about individuals or companies selling investments in B.C.

Report to the BCSC

Please note we are unable to assist with inquiries related to the Western Union settlement. If you have questions about the settlement or want to file a claim, contact the FTC at [email protected] or 1-844-319-2124.

If you have any concerns about a person or company offering an investment opportunity, please contact BCSC Inquiries at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 or through e-mail at [email protected] You can also file a complaint or submit a tip anonymously using the online complaint form.

InvestRight.org is the British Columbia Securities Commission’s investor education website. Subscribe to receive email updates from BCSC InvestRight.

Suggested Reading

BC Securities Enforcement Roundup – May 2014

New InvestRight app video series launched

Learn how to protect yourself against online scams

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