Western Union does not compensate for fraud

A reader named Kal Kerger sent me the following message:

I sent $125 USD to china to buy some t-shirts & hats. Never heard from the guy. When I complained to W.U., I was told too bad and report it to the Police. I’m in Canada and I ‘m a retired cop and I know that’s not going to happen.

Is W.U. going to do anything about frauds? At least with PayPal they cover u 100%.

Also I would love to do Mastercard with W.U. from my house, but they only accept American credit cards. Can something be done about that?

Online fraud
Protect yourself from fraud by online sending money to someone you know and trust.

I contacted Western Union and asked them, “What is Western Union’s policy on fraud? Is there no form of compensation for one who has been defrauded?”

A Western Union rep named Carrie C. replied as follows:


Thank you for contacting Western Union. We are writing regarding your inquiry.

Western Union does not offer an escrow service or any type of “purchase protection” policy. We do not hold the funds until the merchandise is received and/or inspected. Western Union’s business is to transfer funds from a sender to a receiver within minutes. 

We caution our customers against sending money to people they do not know. It is the senders responsibility to know the party to which the funds are being sent. If a receiver presents proper identification, payment will be made. Western Union is under no obligation to replace the funds lost when the product or service is not provided. 

We strongly suggest you contact our Fraud Department at 1-800-448-1492 and your local law enforcement to report this incident. Western Union also advises you to report any incident of suspected fraud from an Internet website to the FBI Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) atwww.ic3.gov.

Please consider that Western Union is unable to do any criminal prosecution. If you wish to pursue this individual through legal channels, we recommend you to start legal proceedings.

Best regards,

The Western Union Customer Care Team

So it seems that Western Union does not compensate for fraud of any kind. If you’re going to send a Western Union transfer to someone you don’t know, whether to purchase a product or hire someone to perform a service, make sure that it’s someone with an established reputation and positive recommendations from others.

Regarding the other question, Kal is correct, you can only fund a Western Union transfer with your credit card if the card is issued by an American bank. Otherwise you have to pay cash or from your bank account.

– Wael

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