PHOENIX - Attorney General Mark Brnovich today announced a settlement with Western Union designed to protect consumers from wire fraud scams. Under the multi-state settlement, Western Union is required to develop an anti-fraud program designed to help detect and prevent unsuspecting consumers from wiring money to scam artists. In addition to Arizona, 48 states and the District of Columbia participated in this settlement.
“This settlement requires Western Union to do its part to stop a wire transfer before a vulnerable senior is scammed out of their life savings,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Anti-fraud banking programs will help protect seniors from criminals who continue to find new and innovative ways to steal from them.”
Western Union's Anti-Fraud Program must include the following elements:
- Anti-fraud warnings on forms used by consumers to wire money;
- Mandatory training and education for Western Union’s agents about fraud-induced wire transfers;
- Heightened anti-fraud procedures when warranted;
- Due diligence checks on Western Union agents who process money transfers;
- Monitoring of Western Union agents related to prevention of fraud-induced money transfers;
- Prompt disciplinary action against Western Union agents who fail to follow required protocols concerning anti-fraud measures;
Under the settlement, Western Union will pay $586 million to victims of fraud-induced wire transfers nationwide including Arizona victims. The Department of Justice will administer the refunds. Approximately 10,000 Arizonans may be eligible for over $11,560,000 in refunds through the restitution program. For more information on this settlement and the restitution program, please visit the Department of Justice’s website, https://www.justice.gov/criminal-afmls/remission.
If you believe you have been the victim of wire transfer or consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by contacting the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1(800) 352-8431. Bilingual consumer protection staff members are available to assist. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Attorney General’s website.
Assistant Attorney General Dena Benjamin handled this case.
View a copy of the Assurance.