New deadline for Western Union scam claims

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(Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)

HARTFORD — People who were scammed and sent money via Western Union have more time to file a claim.

The Department of Banking and the Department of Consumer Protection said Monday, the deadline for consumers who were scammed and used Western Union to wire the funds to file a claim with the Federal Trade Commission has been extended to May 31, 2018.

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 this extension 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.”

Officials said 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.

You can read more on scams here