Western Union fraud rebate deadline extended to May 31
Scam victims who sent money via Western Union now have more time to get it back.
The deadline to file a claim for a rebate of money lost to a scammer has been extended to May 31. The Department of Justice had previously planned to close the window for rebate claims on Monday, February 12.
The government agency gave no specific reason for the extension, though it has recently mailed out half a million letters to identified victims of scams or fraudsters who used Western Union to perpetrate the crime. Those letters were sent to anyone known to have been victimized within the rebate eligibility window of January 1, 2004, to January 19, 2017, and the letters include instructions, a Claim ID and a PIN for use in filing the petition for a remission payment. Petitions can be filed either online or through the mail.
The DOJ still expects to distribute all $586 million paid by Western Union in a recent court settlement, and it still expects the wait for a check to stretch for a year or more. For more information, check out our previous coverage of the settlement and claims process.
Meanwhile, state regulators in New York have tacked on another $60 million fine against Western Union for violating the state’s anti-money laundering laws and ignoring suspicious human trafficking-related transactions to China.
The new fine centers around high-volume and high-profit Western Union agents in New York City who processed large batches of payments to Chinese recipients that were broken up into smaller payments so as to avoid identification and legal reporting requirements. One such agent “admitted to law enforcement agents that he knew that at least some customers used Western Union’s money transfer services to pay debts to human traffickers based in China”, according to the New York Department of Financial Services.