The state of Montana and 48 other states have reached a settlement agreement with Western Union over accusations that the company failed to adequately prevent fraudulent money transfers.

“Attorney General Fox announced a settlement with the Western Union Company and it resolved multi-state investigations, which focused on complaints from consumers who were using Western Unions wire transfer service to send money to third parties who were involved in schemes to defraud them,” said Spokeswoman for the Montana Attorney General's Office Anastasia Burton.

Of the 5 million dollar settlement Montana will receive about 40,000 dollars, most of which will go to Office of Consumer Protection to help keep the public informed of scam attempts, but another settlement reached last month with Western Union could put money directly into victim’s pockets.

“That was a very large settlement,” Burton said. “It was a multi-state for $586 million and of that we know that at least 1,200, maybe 1,300, Montanans will be eligible to receive roughly $1.7 million in restitution.”

The scams involved in Western Union money transfers included various types of lottery scams, love interest scams, and even grandparent scams… where fraudsters convinced victims to transfer money to either win a prize or help a loved one. Information on how victims can recoup their losses is now available on the U.S. Department of Justice website (see link below).

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