DOB: Western Union Claims Deadline Extended

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New Deadline for Western Union Claims

This is a joint release by the Departments of Banking and Consumer Protection.

February 5, 2018

The Department of Banking and the Department of Consumer Protection would like to inform consumers who lost money through a scam that utilized Western Union to wire the funds that the deadline for filing a claim with the Federal Trade Commission has been extended to May 31, 2018.

As part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Western Union has agreed to pay $586 million to provide refunds to people who were scammed into wiring money and used their wire transfer service between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017.   Consumers should file their claim online at www.FTC.gov/WU.

“I am extremely happy to see that the Federal Trade Commission has extended the deadline for filing claims,” said Commissioner Jorge Perez.  “The Department of Banking usually hears from consumers after the money has been wired, and then realizing it was a scam.  Hopefully his extension will settlement will provide help to many of those people who have fallen victim to a scam and unwittingly wired large amounts of money to a scammer.”

“We’re pleased that the Federal Trade Commission has extended the deadline to allow more consumers to recover money lost in this scam,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, “This is also a good opportunity to remind consumers of the common signs of a scam, one of which is a requirement that they wire money.”

The most common banking scams that lead people to wire money include:

  • the Grandparent scam, in which a caller falsely claims to be a family member in distress that needs money wired immediately;
     
  • the Lottery or Prize scam, which leads the victim to believe they have won a prize and need to send money to claim their winnings;
     
  • the Online dating or “Sweetheart” scam, in which a person sends money to someone they met over the Internet under false pretenses; and
     
  • the Advance-fee loan scam, which requires a person to pay up-front fees to receive a guaranteed loan, regardless of your credit history.

The Department of Banking (DOB) licenses and regulates money transmitters, including Western Union.  If you have a complaint or issue with a money transmitter you may contact the DOB, at ct.gov/dob.