Western Union settles anti-fraud case with Mississippi

Jim Hood
Jim Hood AP

Western Union money-transfer service will implement an anti-fraud program and pay Mississippi $53,180 in a settlement with the state, Attorney General Jim Hood announced Tuesday.

As part of a settlement with Mississippi, 48 other states and the District of Columbia, Western Union agreed to devise a plan to detect and prevent incidents in which consumers become victims of fraud when they use Western Union to wire money to scammers, Hood said in a press release.

“Criminals continue to craft all kinds of schemes to try to convince consumers to wire them money,” Hood said.

Western Union has agreed to pay $586 million to a fund the U.S. Department of Justice will administer to provide refunds to victims of fraud-induced wire transfers in Mississippi and nationwide.

“We share the goals of the attorneys general and are committed to protecting consumers and the integrity of our global money transfer network from abuse by bad actors,” Western Union said in a statement.

The settlement also requires:

▪  Anti-fraud warnings on forms consumers use to wire money

▪  Mandatory training for Western Union agents on fraud-induced wire transfers

▪  Heightened anti-fraud procedures when warranted by increased fraud complaints

▪  Due-diligence checks on Western Union agents who process money transfers

▪  Monitoring of Western Union agent activity related to prevention of fraud-induced money transfers

▪  Prompt and appropriate disciplinary action against Western Union agents who fail to follow required protocols concerning anti-fraud measures