08/02/2018 - 10:27

WA scam victims could be refunded

08/02/2018 - 10:27

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Thousands of Western Australian scam victims could be refunded millions of dollars after US legal authorities issued Western Union a $US586 million ($750 million) penalty for aiding fraud over a 13-year period.

Since 2009, WA victims reported paying almost $16 million to scammers via Western Union.

Thousands of Western Australian scam victims could be refunded millions of dollars after US legal authorities issued Western Union a $US586 million ($750 million) penalty for aiding fraud over a 13-year period.

The US Department of Justice handed down the penalty, which covers the period from 2004 until 2017, with funds from the fine to be used to refund scam victims.

The court ruling followed a joint investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission, the US Department of Justice and the US Postal Inspection Service.

Consumer Protection data since 2009 reveals that about 1,000 victims in WA reported paying almost $16 million to scammers via Western Union.

A joint initiative between Consumer Protection and WA Police, Project Sunbird, found victims reported paying more than $3.2 million via Western Union from 2013 to 2016.

Consumer Protection commissioner David Hillyard has urged scam victims who lost money in this way to submit a claim.

“Every day we hear heartbreaking stories of victims who have lost money to online fraudsters and history tells us that many have transferred their money overseas using Western Union services,” Mr Hillyard said

“Our frustration is that we can do very little once the money has been sent to the scammers and we must inform victims that there is no realistic chance for them to get their money back.

“This court judgement in the US, however, now gives many victims some hope to receive compensation.

“While there are no guarantees, we would appeal to victims to at least submit a claim so their case can be assessed and verified.”

WA victims can use an online form or apply by post to have the money they lost refunded by the DOJ.

They must submit their claims before the recently extended deadline of 31 May 2018 by visiting http://www.westernunionremission.com/.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre is offering to help scam victims get evidence of their payments to assist with their claim.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options