Frequently Asked Questions

Consumer fraud awareness

What can I do to protect myself?

Are there common consumer fraud scenarios to be aware of?

How can I protect my password?

How are test questions used by Western Union?

Does Western Union offer an escrow service or any kind of buyer protection?

What can I do if I suspect fraud or am a victim of fraud?

What does Western Union do to protect my information?

 

What can I do to protect myself?

  • As a Western Union® Money Transfer user, we value your business and take pride in delivering your funds to the intended recipient in a fast, convenient and reliable manner. However, there are individuals throughout the world who will attempt to use any system to receive payments in connection with fraudulent sales or solicitations.
  • Make sure you know to whom you are sending money. If you are purchasing goods or services and paying through the Western Union network, it is your responsibility to verify the reputation and legitimacy of the seller. Western Union is not responsible for the non-receipt or quality of any goods or services.
  • Do not send money using a fictitious recipient’s name. This will not protect you when purchasing from someone you don’t know.
  • Remember that Western Union does not require a receiver to present a money transfer control number (MTCN) to pick up funds.
  • Discontinue a call if a caller instructs you on how to respond to questions asked by Western Union. Ask yourself:
    • Who is this person?
    •  Does this money have to be sent immediately?
    •  Does this offer sound too good to be true?
  • Security is everyone's responsibility. Stay informed. Keep abreast of consumer fraud trends.
  • If someone contacts you claiming to be Western Union and asking for your password or inviting you to click on a link, don’t do it. Instead, forward any suspicious emails to spoof@westernunion.com.
  • Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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Are there common consumer fraud scenarios to be aware of?

  • Be wary if you are required to pay a fee before receiving a loan.
  • Beware of sweepstakes, prize or lottery company representatives who tell you to transfer money to them in order to claim a prize you've won. There are many companies running fraudulent contests that ask you to transfer them money but give you nothing in return.
  • Beware of unsolicited letters or emails from a Nigerian or other foreign government official requesting assistance in the transfer of excess funds from a foreign country into your bank account. Beware of telephone calls from the police claiming someone you know has been in an accident or arrested and is requesting money.
  • Beware of unsolicited letters or emails offering an unrealistic price for expensive or difficult to find merchandise.
  • Beware of telephone calls from the police claiming someone you know has been in an accident or arrested and is requesting money.
  • Beware of sellers requesting money sent through Western Union using a fictitious name or a relative's name in which you are to change upon receipt of goods. Western Union does not permit money to be sent using fictitious names or to change the receiver's name after the transaction has been sent. Western Union is not affiliated with any Internet merchants.
  • Beware of sellers who advise you to send money through Western Union but advise you to withhold the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) from the seller until you receive the goods. Western Union representatives typically pay out when a receiver presents acceptable documentary evidence of identity bearing the name of the intended receiver and do not require the MTCN for pay out.

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How can I protect my password?

  • Never share your password with anyone. You are responsible for keeping your password confidential. If you suspect your password has been compromised, change it immediately.
  • Select a password that is unique and difficult to guess. As a general rule, it is a good idea to choose a password that uses both letters and numbers. Avoid using a password that is easy to figure out; do NOT use your email address as your password or other common passwords such as "password," "westernunion," "1234," etc.
  • Change your password frequently.
  • Do not use the same password that you currently use for any other online services.

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How are test questions used by Western Union?

Western Union Agent locations may require a receiver to present acceptable documentary evidence of identity and a correct answer to a test question in order to receive a money transfer. Any other use of a test question may be fraudulent. It should never be used as additional security to time or delay the payment of a transaction.

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Does Western Union offer an escrow service or any kind of buyer protection?

  • Western Union does not offer an escrow service or any type of "purchase protection" policy. Western Union's business is to transfer funds from a sender to a receiver. We caution people who use our services against sending money to people they don't know. It is the sender's responsibility to know the party to which the funds are being sent. Using a fictitious name or changing the Receiver name after the money transfer has been sent is not a guaranteed means of securing funds. If a receiver presents acceptable documentary evidence of identity with the same name as on the money transfer, payment will be made.
  • Be wary of 3rd party "collection" or "holding" services unless they are a reputable, licensed escrow service. Western Union is not an escrow service, should not be used as an escrow service and is currently not affiliated with any escrow services.

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What can I do if I suspect fraud or am a victim of fraud?

  • Contact your government's Office of Consumer Affairs if you are uncertain or suspicious of a telephone, mail or email solicitation.
  • If you feel you have been the victim of fraud, you can contact your local police.

 

What does Western Union do to protect my information?

Western Union employs a variety of techniques to protect the confidentiality of your personal information including SSL technology.

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If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact us by email, mail or phone.