People who sent money to a scammer using Western Union between Jan. 1, 2004 and Jan. 19, 2017 may qualify to receive a refund. People will have until Feb. 12, 2018 to file claims to request refunds through a fund administered by the Department of Justice's Victim Asset Recovery Program.
Examples of the scams include phony lottery or prize winnings, phony family emergency scams, IRS scams and romance scams. The common thread in all of the schemes is that the scammer tried to catch people off guard by creating a phony urgent situation that they claimed required people to immediately wire money to the scammers.
Illinois residents who have already reported being a victim to the Attorney General’s Office, Western Union, the FTC or another government agency may receive a claim form in the mail. The forms will detail the steps consumers should take to file a claim to receive compensation. People who do not receive a form in the mail but believe they may be eligible to receive compensation through the fund, can obtain more information or file an online claim by visiting the Western Union Remission website or by calling 1-844-319-2124. All completed claims forms must be mailed back to the settlement administrator by Feb. 12. It could take up to a year before eligible consumers receive a refund and depending on the number of consumers who file claims, the refunds may be a percentage of the amount consumers lost.
If Peoria County residents has any questions, please contact our Victim Service Coordinator, Aimee Shinall at 309/697-7855 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illinois residents who have questions should contact the Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438 (Chicago), 1-800-243-0618 (Springfield), or 1-800-243-0607 (Carbondale).