11/14/2017 Release from the Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General:
RICHMOND (November 14, 2017) - Virginians who were deceived into sending payments to scammers using Western Union's wire transfer service may now apply for compensation from a $586 million fund administered by the Department of Justice's Victim Asset Recovery Program, Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today. This fund is related to a multistate settlement between 51 attorneys general and Western Union that was first announced in January.
Virginians 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.
"Too many consumers find themselves out of money through grandparent scams, lottery and contest scams, romance scams, and more, so I'm pleased that Virginians who suffered out-of-pocket losses as a result of Western Union-related scams will be able to recover some or all of those losses," said Attorney General Herring. "I hope as many consumers as possible will take advantage of these funds to help recover what they have lost. My team and I will continue to work relentlessly to help protect Virginia consumers and their hard-earned money."
Virginians who reported to Western Union or to the Virginia Attorney General's Office that they had been the victim of a scam using Western Union may receive a claim form in the mail. The claim form will be sent by the settlement administrator in the next two weeks. The form will contain instructions explaining how consumers may file their claim to receive compensation. If you do not receive a claim form in the mail but 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. All completed claims forms must be mailed back to the settlement administrator by February 12, 2018. The form will not ask for your bank account or credit card information or seek any payment from victims. Any such request for money or financial information is not from the program and should be reported to our office.
The Attorney General's Office encourages Virginians to reach out to our Consumer Protection Hotline if they have questions or concerns at 1-800-552-9963 if calling from Virginia, or 804-786-2042 if calling from the Richmond area.
This matter was handled by Attorney General Herring's Consumer Protection Section. In November, Attorney General Herring announced the completion of a reorganization of the OAG Consumer Protection Section to more efficiently and effectively enforce Virginia's consumer protection laws, provide exceptional customer service in resolving complaints and disputes, and provide robust consumer education to keep Virginians from being victimized by fraud, scams, or illegal or abusive business practices. During Attorney General Herring's administration the OAG Consumer Protection Section has recovered more than $234 million in relief for consumers and payments from violators.
You can subscribe to the Consumer Protection Quarterly Newsletter here.