Lose money to a scammer? Here's how you could get it back

Lose money to a scammer? Here's how you could get it back

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Mississippians who lost money to scam artists through Western Union wire transfers could get some of that money back.

Wednesday, Attorney General Jim Hood announced a compensation program for fraud victims as part of a settlement with Western Union. If you were a victim of a fraud-induced transfer using Western Union between January 1, 2004, and January 19, 2017, you may qualify.
 
A typical fraud transfer in this case would include a scammer getting their victims to wire them money by making the victim believe it was for a lottery, family emergency, online dating, and other tactics.

"For years, Western Union allowed scammers to use its money transfer system to get payments from victims, even though they received hundreds of thousands of complaints about money transfers that were induced by fraud and deceit," Hood said. "Because they chose to ignore the problem instead of implementing policies and procedures to better protect consumers, they are now having to reimburse consumers for these losses."

If you've already filed a complaint with the Mississippi Attorney General's Office and it falls within the relevant time period, you should be getting a claim form in the mail. It will be sent from the settlement administrator, Gilardi & Co., in the next two weeks. The form will contain instructions explaining how consumers may file their claim to receive compensation.
 
However, if you did not previously file a complaint, you may still be eligible to submit a claim directly to Western Union. If you believe you may have an eligible claim, 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. 
 
Remember, filing a claim is free, so consumers should not pay anyone to file a claim on their behalf. No one associated with the claims process will ever call to ask for consumers' bank account or credit card number.
 
If you have any questions or concerns about the process, you should contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office at 1-800-281-4418 or aginfo@ago.state.ms.us.

The compensation for fraud victims is coming from a $586 million fund administered by the Department of Justice's Victim Asset Recovery Program. This fund is related to a multi-state settlement between Western Union, all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 
 
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