VICTIMS OF FRAUD WHO SENT MONEY THROUGH WESTERN UNION CAN APPLY FOR REFUNDS UP TO AUGUST 31, 2022

JULY 29, 2022

MASSE AND ANTI-FRAUD LEADERS ENCOURAGE ALL CANADIAN WESTERN UNION VICTIMS OF FRAUD TO APPLY FOR COMPENSATION

WINDSOR, ON – NDP MP Brian Masse (Windsor West) today, alongside retired RCMP Fraud Investigator John Mecher, now Fraud Awareness Advocate, and Civilian Security Advisor and Certified IT Technician, Kevin Cosgrove, encouraged any Canadian victim who was defrauded and sent their money through Western Union between January 1, 2004, and January 19, 2017, to apply to get their money back if they have not already filed a claim. As the window of opportunity is quickly closing, the time to act is now.

Through joint investigations by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million and admitted to aiding and abetting wire fraud. DOJ is now using that money to provide refunds to people who were tricked into using Western Union to pay scammers. This includes Canadian victims.

“This is a unique opportunity for Canadians who have lost their money to recoup those funds,” stated Masse. “We know every year millions of dollars in losses are reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and nothing can usually be done to help victims receive their money back.  This is a chance to help victims recoup their losses and I encourage as many eligible Canadian victims as possible to apply,” Masse said.

“As a former RCMP fraud investigator, I know firsthand that fraudsters are relentless and will do everything they deem necessary to feed their hunger for ill-gotten gains. They will exploit every opportunity to achieve their goals, including but not limited to the following recurring themes: windfalls, economic opportunities, emergencies, love, and extortion. Although victims of fraud are often overly represented by the elderly, newcomers, and the intellectually impaired, just about anyone can become a victim of fraud, given the right set of circumstances. Scammers routinely leave a path of destruction in their wake; above and beyond the financial loss, an emotional impact often leaves the victims ashamed, depressed or worst. Unfortunately, in Canada, true wins for fraud victims are few and far between. Although wins might be rare, the Western Union Refunds, a gift from our friends south of the border, is a massive win for fraud victims everywhere, including our country,” stated Mecher.

“This settlement is necessary to not only show the companies that profit from facilitating these digital scams will have consequences, but it is also important to show victims and the public that even though prosecutions of scammers may be difficult at times, law enforcement and governments are taking this seriously and doing what can be done to stem the tide of millions of dollars lost every year to scammers,” Cosgrove said.

For years, many Canadians who lost money to scams sent their payment through a Western Union wire transfer. Scammers contacted people and promised prizes, loans, jobs, discounted products or other financial rewards in exchange for money upfront. There was also the CRA scam and immigration scams. Fraudsters also pretended to be family members in need of cash, or law enforcement officers demanding payment. People were told to send money through Western Union. No one received the cash, prizes or services they were promised, and many lost their life savings before realizing they were scammed.

For more information: https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/refunds/western-union-refunds

To file claim:  www.westernunionremissionphase2.com and click on the Petition Form. To be eligible, the form must be completed online or postmarked by August 31, 2022.

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For more information:

Brian Masse MP:                 519-255-1631 or 613-996-1541 or brian.masse@parl.gc.ca

John Mecher:                        j.mecher@icloud.com

Kevin Cosgrove:                   519-790-8817 or kevincosgrove@live.ca

Protect Yourself from COVID-19 Related Fraud

Protect Yourself From Everyday Fraud Scams

  • Review the fine print, terms and conditions before making any purchases
  • Conduct open source searches to see if anyone has been scammed by this advertisement, or business in the past
  • Beware of paid advertisements online – they are not always affiliated with the website you are viewing
  • Prior to sending any money, contact the person who requested the transfer in person or by phone to confirm the request was legitimate
  • Beware of unusual email requests
  • Never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails or even from someone you know if it looks suspicious
  • Review your credit card statement regularly for unauthorized charges
  • Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Click here for a great link to the Competition Bureau of Canada’s Little Black Book of Scams

Click here for an in depth fraud protection toolkit and guide

 


Senior Citizens

Click on the following links for resources to help you fight fraud against Senior citizens

Anti-fraud Center

Scam Smart Resource Guide

Or you may call Brian’s office to request this information. 519-255-1631

 


 

6 Steps For Victims Of Fraud

  1. Gather all information about the fraud, including documents, receipts, copies of emails or phone messages.
  2. Report the incident and file a report with the Windsor Police. Call 519-255-6700 or email at fraud@police.windsor.on.ca
  3. Contact the Canadian ANTI-FRAUD CENTER
  4. Report the incident to any financial institution involved in any money transfers.
  5. If the fraud took place on a website, let the website know under their “Report Abuse” link.
  6. Put flags on all of your financial accounts and report to both credit bureaus: Equifax and TransUnion

Contact information

  • Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: 1-888-495-8501
  • Crime Stoppers Windsor: 1-519-258-8477
  • Windsor Police: 1-519-255-6700

 

Be Social Media Smart

Top 5 social media scams

  1. Hidden URL’s: These shortened links can install malware. Protect yourself with good spyware and anti-virus software
  2. Phishing Requests: Someone says to check out these pictures of yourself by clicking HERE! You enter your personal information and password and now the criminals have access to all your files!
  3. Hidden Charges: “Find out your personality type” by entering your cell number. You get your answer and a cell charge!
  4. Cash grabs: You make friends online – some are new, others are old. You’re contacted to help with some money. Think twice about the new friend and contact the old friend to see if the request is legitimate. Most times it is not.
  5. Chain letters: They’re back! Asking you to “share this with 10 friends and get a free product” or “someone will donate $5.00 for every share.” These are just time wasters and will not lead to a free product or donations.

 

If you would like to message me about fraud in Canada email me here:

brian.masse@parl.gc.ca