This Is the Deadline to File a Claim in the Western Union Class-Action Suit

The Federal Trade Commission building in Washington
The Federal Trade Commission building in Washington on Jan. 28, 2015. Alex Brandon/AP Photo

This one’s been a long time coming.

In case you didn’t hear, Western Union is the subject of a class-action lawsuit. People were getting scammed, and the bad guys requested they send their money via Western Union. Apparently, a lot of people did just that.

If you were one of those people, then you have until May 31 to get your money back.

File Your Western Union Class-Action Claim Now

The Federal Trade Commission reported that Western Union received more than 550,000 complaints from people who had been scammed into completing a Western Union money transfer between January 2004 and August 2015.

Western Union failed to flag transactions it suspected to be criminal, according to the FTC, and agreed to pay $586 million to settle the class-action suit.

If you got suckered — don’t feel bad because many of us have at some point or another — and lost money to a scammer through a Western Union transfer between Jan. 1, 2004, and Jan. 19, 2017, you could qualify for a piece of the settlement.

If you have already reported your losses to the FTC or Western Union, a pre-filled claim form may have shown up in the mail.

If not, your best bet is to file your claim online. Start at the FTC’s Western Union refund site, which will guide you through the steps. You will need to provide your Social Security number, which is why it is safer to do on the secure website than through the mail.

You do not have to pay any money or provide your bank information to get your piece of the settlement. If you receive an email or other correspondence asking you to do so, report it to the FTC, because it’s another scam.

Have as much info handy as you can, including how much money you sent, when you sent it and to whom, if possible. The more info you can provide, the better your chances of getting at least a portion of that money back.

How much money could you get from the settlement? It depends on the number of claims filed and how many the FTC can validate. Once the claims are tallied, it could take a year to see your check in the mail. It’s a slow process, but it’s better than nothing, right?

Always keep in mind that there are bad guys out there just waiting to grab your money. Keep your eyes open for scams, and do your due diligence before sending anyone money. You’ve worked hard for your money. Keep it safe.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.