Attorney General Matt Denn along with the attorneys general of 48 states and the District of Columbia Tuesday were part of a settlement with Colorado-based The Western Union Company.
The settlement requires Western Union to develop and put into action a comprehensive anti-fraud program designed to help detect and prevent incidents where consumers who have been the victims of fraud through the use Western Union to wire money to scam artists.
Criminal scams that involve wiring money include: lottery and contest scams in which consumers are told they have won a large sum of money but must first wire money to pay required taxes or fees before receiving their winnings; “grandparent scams” in which a consumer believes his or her loved one is in immediate danger and needs money right away; and romance scams in which someone poses as a love interest and then soon begins asking consumers to send money for various reasons, such as medical emergencies, car accidents, and emergency travel.
“Consumers who receive solicitations from strangers promising big winnings should toss those letters in the trash, delete the e-mail or hang up the phone,” Attorney General Denn said. “And consumers who meet someone online should be cautious about wiring money, particularly if meeting in person has never taken place. Unfortunately, some victims send money multiple times to the scam artist before realizing they have been duped.”