10,000 Arizonans eligible for refunds from Western Union settlement

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Western Union logo. (Source: google.com) Western Union logo. (Source: google.com)

Thousands of Arizonans could get some money back if they were victims of a wire scam through Western Union.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office said it and other attorneys general have reached a settlement with Western Union designed to protect consumers from wire fraud scams.

The company is required to develop an anti-fraud program to try to prevent unsuspecting people from wiring money to scammers.

"This settlement requires Western Union to do its part to stop a wire transfer before a vulnerable senior is scammed out of their life savings," Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a statement. "Anti-fraud banking programs will help protect seniors from criminals who continue to find new and innovative ways to steal from them."

Under the settlement, roughly 10,000 Arizonans may be eligible for more than $11 million in refunds through the restitution program, Brnovich said. For more information on this settlement and the restitution program, please visit the Department of Justice's website: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-afmls/remission.

If you believe you have been the victim of wire transfer or consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by contacting the Attorney General's Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1(800) 352-8431. Bilingual consumer protection staff members are available to assist. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Attorney General's website at https://www.azag.gov/complaints/consumer.

Western Union will pay a total of $586 million to victims in 50 states and the District of Columbia. It also released a statement.

Western Union's anti-fraud program must include the following elements: 

  • Anti-fraud warnings on forms used by consumers to wire money
  • Mandatory training and education for Western Union's agents about fraud-induced wire transfers;
  • Heightened anti-fraud procedures when warranted
  • Due diligence checks on Western Union agents who process money transfers
  • Monitoring of Western Union agents related to prevention of fraud-induced money transfers
  • Prompt disciplinary action against Western Union agents who fail to follow required protocols concerning anti-fraud measures

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