Texas AG: 39,000 Texans eligible for restitution in Western Union settlement

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on Tuesday that 39,000 Texans would be eligible for refunds after a $5 million settlement was reached with Western Union.

The settlement stemmed from an investigation into complaints filed by customers who used the company’s service to wire transfer money to third parties who were involved in scams.

Western Union agreed to pay $586 million to a fund that the U.S. Department of Justice will administer to provide refunds to those affected, which include the 39,000 Texans.

“This settlement serves as a cautionary tale that scam artists are always looking for new ways to fool people into wiring them money, including schemes purportedly involving family members, romantic interests, lotteries and contests,” Attorney General Paxton said.

The company also agreed to anti-fraud measures which include:

  • Anti-fraud warnings on 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.
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