In Settlement with District, Western Union Agrees to Enact Anti-Fraud Program to Protect Consumers from Wire Fraud

Company Also Provides $586 Million in Restitution to Victims, $5 Million to States

WASHINGTON, D. C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced today that, as part of a settlement with Colorado-based The Western Union Company, the company is required to create a comprehensive anti-fraud program designed to detect and prevent future incidents of wire fraud. The lawsuit resolves a multistate investigation focused on complaints of consumers who used Western Union’s wire transfer service to send money to third parties involved in schemes to defraud consumers. As part of the settlement with the states, Western Union also has agreed to pay a total of $5 million to states for costs and fees, from which the District will receive $42,352.85.

In a separate action by federal officials, Western Union also settled claims related to fraud-induced transfers with the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice. As part of those related settlements, Western Union has agreed to pay $586 million to a fund that the Department of Justice will administer to provide refunds to victims of fraud-induced wire transfers nationwide, including victims in the District. For more information on how victims may file claims, consumers should visit

“Scammers use a wide variety of schemes to persuade consumers to wire them money, and oftentimes these scams target vulnerable people,” said Attorney General Racine. “Today’s settlement will help strengthen safeguards against these kinds of scams and ensure that consumers can use companies like Western Union with clearer guidance and assistance in avoiding fraud.”

The anti-fraud program, which Western Union has agreed to evaluate and update as warranted, includes the following elements:

  • Anti-fraud warnings on send forms that consumers use to wire money;
  • Mandatory and appropriate training and education for Western Union’s agents about fraud-induced wire transfers;
  • Heightened anti-fraud procedures when warranted by circumstances such as increased fraud complaints;
  • Due-diligence checks on Western Union agents who process money transfers;
  • Monitoring of Western Union agent activity related to prevention of fraud-induced money transfers; and
  • Prompt and appropriate disciplinary action against Western Union agents who fail to follow required protocols concerning anti-fraud measures.

In addition to the District, 49 states participated in the settlement, which is attached. They are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.