COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Good news if you've lost money to scams with money-transfer service through the Western Union.
Attorney General Alan Wilson announced a $586 million settlement with the Western Union over money laundering and consumer fraud violations.
"Con-artists are always coming up with ways to trick people out of their hard-earned money," Wilson said. "A wire transfer cannot be tracked to be returned to the original sender if it is found to be a scam, which is why it is often the preferred method of transferring funds for a con-artist".
South Carolina consumers, who were deceived into sending payments to scammers using Western Union's wire transfer service between Jan. 1, 2004 and Jan.19, 2017 may now apply for compensation before February 12, 2018.
The settlement requires Western Union to develop and put into action a comprehensive anti-fraud program designed to help detect and prevent incidents where consumers who have been the victims of fraud use Western Union to wire money to con artists.
That anti-fraud program, which Western Union has agreed to evaluate and update as warranted, includes the following elements:
- Anti-fraud warnings on sending forms that consumers use to wire money
- Mandatory and appropriate training and education for Western Union’s agents about fraud-induced wire transfers
- Heightened anti-fraud procedures when warranted by circumstances such as increased fraud complaints;
- Due diligence checks on Western Union agents who process money transfers;
- Monitoring of Western Union agent activity related to prevention of fraud-induced money transfers; and
- Prompt and appropriate disciplinary action against Western Union agents who fail to follow required protocols concerning anti-fraud measures.
For more on how you can find out if you were a victim by filing a free claim at www.FTC.gov/WU.