Western Union scam victims may qualify for reimbursement

Police are reminding people who have fallen victim to a scam and paid money via Western Union that they may qualify for reimbursement following a 2017 investigation by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).

In January 2017 Western Union admitted to criminal violations including wilfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and aiding and abetting wire fraud.

This resulted in them agreeing to pay a penalty of US$586 million (NZ$788.8 million) which is being used to provide refunds to eligible people worldwide who were tricked into paying scammers via Western Union.

Manager: National High Tech Crime Group, Kelly Knight, says victims’ window for lodging a claim is closing and if they believe they qualify they should do so as soon as possible.
The final date is 12 February 2018.

“NZ Police know that there will be a significant number of victims of Western Union scams who may qualify for reimbursement. In one case, a single victim lost $NZ80,000.
“Anyone who believes they meet the eligibility criteria can visit the Western Union Remission website and lodge a claim.”

At the time of the decision US Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer said the historic agreement made it clear all corporations and their agents will be held accountable for conduct that circumvents compliance programs designed to prevent criminal conduct.

“Unfortunately there are people in the world who will take advantage of people for their own benefit and the internet has made it easier for these people to contact New Zealanders,” says Knight.

“Anyone who is asked to pay money to an unknown person, no matter what the circumstances, should check the details of the request before making any payment.

Scammers are always looking for new ways to victimise people. Their methods evolve over time as well, and the level of sophistication continues to improve.
Scams are becoming harder to spot.”

This press release was issued by Police Media Centre and has been taken directly from the New Zealand Police Website. To view the original article click here.

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