July 29th, 2022 - 7:57pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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.
For more information:
Brian Masse MP: 519-255-1631 or 613-996-1541 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
John Mecher: email@example.com
Kevin Cosgrove: 519-790-8817 or firstname.lastname@example.org