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Is Western Union safe?

Western Union is a trusted network of agent locations worldwide. But how does it protect your money when transferring it overseas?

Western Union boasts a network of more than 370,000 agent locations, it’s inevitable that one is in your neighborhood. Learn how it protects your cash until it’s safely in the hands of your friends or family.

How does Western Union protect my money?

Western Union protects your international money transfer using digital safeguards and a long history of service.

  • SSL technology. Western Union uses encryption technology to keep your bank and identifying information safe along every step of the transfer.
  • Backup for recipients without ID. If your recipients are in an emergency situation without ID, you can establish a test question to ensure that your funds are not delayed.
  • In business since 1851. Rest assured that Western Union has had many years to work out any kinks.
  • Publicly traded company. It has a reputation to uphold and shareholders to keep happy.
  • 24-hour customer support. It offers around-the-clock help online and by phone.

Compare Western Union to other international money transfer services

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Ofx Logo

Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options.

With over 17 years of foreign exchange expertise and over $100 billion transferred, OFX can help with all your currency exchange needs, including:

  • Buying property abroad
  • Emigrating
  • Regular overseas payments
  • Risk management
  • Forecasting
Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Services Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 18.802 Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account MXN 94,010 Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
Go to site Show details
USD 1 3 - 5 days USD 75.00 18.868 Online MXN
92,925
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
1 day USD 0.00 18.792 Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account MXN 93,962 Exclusive exchange rate discounts
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
Go to site Show details
USD 100 3 - 5 days USD 5.00 18.783 Online, Phone MXN 93,821 Transfer money into 20 currencies and schedule regular payments. $5 fee waived for transfers over $5,000. Go to site Show details
Do you send money often? Track this rate with tailored alerts direct to your inbox

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What are my rights when it comes to money transfers?

Since 2013 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has enforced rules to keep US citizens safer when transferring money internationally. Federal law now requires many banks, credit unions and money transfer services to disclose information both before and after a transfer.

Before a transfer, you have the right to know:

  • The exchange rate
  • Fees and taxes collected from you
  • Fees charged by agents overseas and others involved in the transfer process
  • The amount your recipient is expected to receive (excluding foreign taxes and recipient fees)

You also should be provided with details on:

  • Your right to cancel the transfer. Unless the transfer has been picked up or deposited, you have 30 minutes (and sometimes more) to cancel at no charge.
  • The bank or company’s process to investigate and fix any errors. It generally has 90 days to resolve any problems.

These rules apply to all international transfers of $15 or more.

How do I report suspicious activity to Western Union?

If you receive an email or call from somebody claiming to be Western Union, do not click any links or provide any information. Western Union will never email you to confirm your ID, password or payment details. Instead, contact your local authorities or forward your email to spoof@westernunion.com.

How to avoid a money transfer scam

You’ve undoubtedly heard about somebody who’s been a victim of a money transfer scam. Keep your eyes open and remain vigilant with these simple tips.

  • Don’t wire money to strangers. Make sure you know who you’re sending money to. If for an online auction or sale, be sure that you have all of the seller’s information and have confirmed they are reputable before sending your payment.
  • Be wary of unsolicited emails and phone calls. Phishing scams often involve an email asking you to resend information or passwords. When in doubt, go to the company’s website directly instead.
  • Ask questions. If a company answers quickly and accurately, that’s a good sign that you’re working with a reputable company.

Compare Western Union Business Solutions for your business needs

Tips for picking up cash safely

It’s great to know that your transfer is safe, but it’s just as important to protect yourself when picking up money. To safely retrieve your cash:

TipDescription
Call ahead.Be aware of the company’s office hours and pick a safe time to get your money. Daylight hours are safest.
Bring a friend.You don’t want to be walking alone with large amounts of money. Ask somebody to come along with you.
Deposit your money immediately.The chances of losing your money to theft or simple carelessness increases the longer you have it with you. Head to a bank and deposit your cash as soon as possible.
Keep your cash hidden.Put your money in your wallet or purse while you are still inside the office. Carrying it out in the open makes you a target.

Bottom line

If you’re looking to transfer money securely and with peace of mind, Western Union is as safe as any of your available options. Be sure to compare fees, exchange rates and transfer times to find one that fits your needs.

I want to send

to

Enter your details to speak to a foreign exchange expert

By submitting this form, you agree to finder.com privacy policy
Ofx Logo

Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options.

With over 17 years of foreign exchange expertise and over $100 billion transferred, OFX can help with all your currency exchange needs, including:

  • Buying property abroad
  • Emigrating
  • Regular overseas payments
  • Risk management
  • Forecasting
Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Services Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 1 3 - 5 days USD 20.00 18.491 Online, Phone, Agent, Bank Account to Bank Account, International Money Order MXN 92,083 Big name in easy money transfers, with cash pickup at more than 500,000 locations worldwide. Show details
Do you send money often? Track this rate with tailored alerts direct to your inbox

Compare up to 4 providers

Shopping for an alternative? Compare these services to Western Union for sending money.

Common money transfer scams to watch out for

ScamWhat to watch out forWhat to do
Online purchasesAsking for money up frontDo not pay up front, ask to meet or arrange escrow
Lottery and sweepsMust pay a fee to receive your prizeIgnore it; it’s not a real prize
“Guaranteed” loansRequest to pay for your application or taxes before you receive the loanRip it up; do not send the money
PhishingAsking for personal details over email (bank accounts, passwords, SSN)Do not reply or click any links – forward the email to spam@uce.gov
CharityDonation requests from a fake charity posing as real one.Never wire money when donating to charity, regardless of their legitimacy.
Nigerian dignitarySomeone contacts you to help recover a large sum of money, and need your bank account info to help pay fees.Never provide financial information over email.
“Stranded traveler”A loved claims to be in trouble, and they are asking for you to send cash.Never send a money transfer until you can verify you know the recipient.
Online datingGetting to know someone online and after you feel a connection, they ask you to wire money.Never send money to someone you have not met in person.

Keep your money safe from money transfer scams

FAQ

No. Western Union does not advise customers using it as an escrow service, nor is it affiliated with one. However, you do have rights that are protected by federal law — including the right to cancel your transfer within 30 minutes if initiated through most banks, credit unions or money transfer services.

When your bank processes an international transfer, it often uses an intermediary or correspondent bank. These “middle men” are sometimes the ones holding it up. Ask your bank to investigate where the money might have gotten delayed.

In most cases, wire transfers are completed in two or three days. If you use a money transfer service, your money is often delivered sooner, sometimes within minutes.

Your money transfer could fail if you provided incorrect information regarding your recipient — include bank details and SWIFT codes. Call your bank or provider to learn if you can fix it.

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