Western Union is one of the most used means of international money transfer. Find out how to get money back from a scammer on Western Union in this post.
Scams take various forms, but the most popular scam often joked about is the “Nigerian Prince” email scams, which still rakes in over $700,000 in illegal funds yearly. Although the scam originated from Nigeria and is also referred by other synonyms like Nigerian letter scam, 419, etc. it is nevertheless a fraud that can also be perpetrated by non-Nigerians from other locations outside of Nigeria.
Scams of any sort often exploit the greedy nature of humans and fast payment services, which makes the transfer of money from the victims to scammers a quick and seamless process.
One such payment service often exploited in perpetrating scams is the Western Union transfer, which makes it possible to send and receive payments to any parts of the world within minutes with simplified payment processes.
All that is needed to send money via Western Union, is the name and location of the recipient (the scammer in this case).
Upon receipt of the money and transfer fee, Western Union generates a control number which the sender (the victim who just got scammed believing that a Nigerian Prince can make him/her rich with gold literarily picked on the streets of Africa!) sends to the recipient (the scammer).
The scammer smiles to the bank with the control number, knowing he has successfully hoodwinked his prey into believing there are endless riches on the street of Africa waiting to be picked!
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If A Scammer Has Hoodwinked You, Can You Get Your Money Back?
In most instances, people who are victims of scams, never get their money back except:
- If you realize early enough that you have been scammed, you can contact Western Union’s fraud hotline at 1-800-448-1492, or fill the Western Union’s online fraud claim. That way, Western Union will stop the transaction and refund your money and the fee ONLY if the fund is yet to be picked up by the scammer.
- If you report a fraud case, Western Union will review your claim and determine if you’re entitled to a refund or not.
How to Cancel a Western Union Transfer and Recover Your Money
Once the user is sure the transaction is all scam, here are the steps to be swiftly taken to outsmart the scammer and recover the money:
- Get the transaction details together. Undoubtedly, Western Union would ask for these to verify the transaction and process the request. The details may include the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN), the total money sent, the sender’s name and address, the recipient’s country, etc.
- Find and contact the place the transfer was purchased. The purchase must be made from a sending agency or an online platform. It is best to visit the physical location, and if impossible, a call should be staged.
- Provide the transaction details gathered earlier. Be cautious as this step and any mistake should not be made. A misspelled name may be enough reason for Western Union not to proceed with the request.
- You may pay some fees for the cancellation of the transaction. This fee may vary depending on the type of the actual transaction.
- Wait for the application to process and receive a refund. This process should not be time-consuming, and your refund should be available in a few minutes.
Even after receiving the refund, it’s essential to keep the details of the transaction. This is to ensure that it could be provided at a due time when necessary.
Also, either the recovery was successful, or the scammer has picked the money already. It is helpful to report to avoid family, friends, and other Western Union users from making the same mistake. Report scams to Western Union by using the official report page, which can be accessed using the official link.
Western Union Fraud Prevention Mechanisms
Advanced technology evidenced by the increase in fast and anonymous payment systems makes the fight against scams and frauds a difficult one. However, Western Union has put in place the following mechanisms to prevent scam:
- Automated fraud warning
- Fraud prevention information is available at all Western Union locations in the world.
- Fraud prevention resources
- Fraud prevention awareness to sensitize people about scams
How To Prevent Western Union Money Transfer Scams
- If the offer is “too good to be true,” it is a scam, do not fall for it.
- You should send money only to someone you have met in person.
- Do not give your bank details or personally identifiable information to someone you haven’t met in person.
- Government agencies won’t ask you to pay taxes and levies via western union or other money transfer services.
- Do not send money to “charity organizations.” Only scam charity organizations ask for donations via western union or other money transfer services
- If you’re purchasing goods or doing transactions via a platform, make payment using payment means provided on the platform only.
- Never be in a rush to transfer money or goods upon the receipt of cheques. Always learn to wait until the cheque is officially cleared for collection.
- Loans and credit card facilities won’t ask for payment before receiving money from them, so beware of such.
- Look for loopholes and report a suspected scam to law enforcement agencies.
Over To You
I hope this post answers all your questions on how to get your money back from a scammer on Western Union. Although Western Union is an efficient money platform to send and receive money locally and internationally; however, it is one of the hotspots for online scammers. Nonetheless, by applying the tips mentioned above, you can prevent fraud demanding from the use of Western Union.