Western Union Is A Scammers Best Friend

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Back in college I bought a bunch of DVDs from a reputable eBay seller located in Canada for what I thought was a great price. We’re talking Wal-Mart type prices for new releases and it was from a seller that had positive feedback in the high hundreds, what I would consider a relatively reputable seller. So, I win three auctions or so for about $200 or so, quite a sum for someone in college; and I foolishly sent a practically untrackable Western Union money order to a guy in Canada. So, after I discovered this guy was basically scamming me, I tried to get some recourse. Well, Western Union told me that the money order is gone when cashed and the guy had already cashed it, I was crap out of luck with Western Union. I tried to appeal to my credit card company but they said that my charge with them was for a money order, which I received; unfortunately they couldn’t help me. I eventually was told that I had to contact Canadian officials for mail or wire fraud if I wanted resolution, yeah good luck with that.

Basically, a Western Union money order is no different than any other money order, there is basically absolutely no reason why you would buy a money order from Western Union in the first place! In fact, the use of Western Union as a means of ripping people off, through no fault of Western Union themselves, has gotten so widespread that it’s practically a flashing red light that a scam is going on. In those situations, those were people desperate for a loan who paid a fee in advance (bad idea) and were ripped off.

Don’t ever send a money order (Western Union or otherwise) to anyone you don’t know… you’re begging to get burned.

{ 14 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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14 Responses to “Western Union Is A Scammers Best Friend”

  1. smartypants says:

    What are you talking about? I used WU to MO $50k to a guy in Nigeria who needs it to pay the export fee on an exiled prince’s estate. The guy detailed it all in his email (which he was kind enough to send me unsolicited!).

  2. Posco says:

    So this goes for USPS money orders, too? And personal checks?

    Since you’re talking about an eBay transaction, it seems this has more to do with trusting the seller.

    I don’t understand what you mean by untrackable. Untrackable by whom? eBay? the buyer? It seems that the only “trackable” payment then is PayPal. How should you pay if the seller does not accept PayPal?

  3. Christopher Tracy says:

    Western Union is “trackable”, but not for the situation you’re talking about. Besides, what exactly would Western Union do? Pay you back? The money is already in the thief’s hands. You want them to play police and track the guy down and ask for the money back? It don’t work that way.

    The same thing would have happened if you sent cash. Even a check, once it’s cashed and cleared, cannot be retrieved by your bank.

    Chalk it up to a life’s lesson – if it’s too good to be true, read the fine print and pay with a credit card.

  4. Foobarista says:

    The only purpose of money orders and other money wiring arrangements is to allow money to move from Point A to Point B without getting lost on the way. It is not to encumber the money with any contractual obligations beyond those that the parties have agreed to before sending the money.

    To expect Western Union to help out with a bad deal is like expecting your cellphone provider to patch up your relationship with your girlfriend because you had a fight over the phone.

  5. D Fleury says:

    A simple rule to follow is never send money to someoneyou don’t
    know; if it’s not a personal friend, family member or a trusted business
    associate or service provider don’t do it.

  6. Ken says:

    Why does Western Union allow scammers to receive money without proper Identification. I emailed Western Union and asked why…I never got a reply.

  7. inno emman says:

    I was about to sent money thru western union for nigeria (ikeja lagos)to pay for a video camera i ordered form uk… but i was hesitant when i learn it well be sent to nigeria nad mot uk werein the seller came from.. it was name appleworld or abphones… until now im wondering if my decision is correct or bad decision


    • babymama says:

      No you are right! I just lost 1400 on a rental scam. I checked into everything the owner name of the house went to look at the house and everything and never heard respomse back after I sent deposit and 1st mth rent… So sad that these dumbasses try to bank off people with certain situations.

  8. Loli says:

    NEVER EVER send money thru western union in Montreal, Canada ( downtown) You will never ever get your money and you will have problems with police! ALL WESTERN UNIONS IN MONTREAL ARE SCAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. PURPLICIOUS says:

    Just want to share the internet dating sites has men and women pretending and uploading stolen pictures pretending to be someone else. Mostly are Nigerians stating they are US citizens traveling to needy countries helping.A unexpected event happens that they need money to leave, asking their romance online friend for help by sending them money through western union. I learn to be vigilant and, eharmony are the highest with romance scammed.

  10. Robbie says:

    A similar situation just happened to me. Someone who we will call Jane Smith put an ad up on a nanny site, saying she would be in our state, but lived out of state, for a conference, and needed her kids watched. It drawed eyes because it was $17 an hour for 2 weeks, about $700 total. My sister took the job offer, and her and the lady were emailing back and forth. The lady sent my sister a $3000 check for “food, gas, and toys for her kids”. This did not include the $700 check she was supposed to receive after she babysit the kids. Jane told her to put it in her bank account, then wire it to Western Union. As soon as the money got to Western Union, Jane told my sister the job would be postponed a week, and my sister hasn’t heard from her. We’ve determined it was a scam. Basically, my sister owes our bank $3000 because the scammer already got it from Western Union, and all accounts associated with our family are frozen, because our mom’s name was on all of them. They will probably take this money unless they can find and get the money from this scammer.

    • Uh says:

      How does your sister owe 3000$ if “The lady sent my sister a $3000 check for ‘food, gas, and toys for her kids'”?

  11. Sunny.... says:

    I sent money to a lady in OR. she was involved in an accident and couldn’t pick it up. Western Union sent it back to me. Then a fellow that the money was being picked up for text me that I needed to resend to another person. I just checked, that person hasn’t picked it up yet. I sent it Oct. 20th and this is the 23rd. Should I once again request my money back?

  12. mel says:

    I have a problem with fraud & western Union of a different kind. I I used money orders to try & pay rent. supposedly my landlord never received yet one had the payee altered to read CHRISTOPHER WATSON instead of my landlords name. western Union requires 90-120days to investigate. I am having trouble finding ANY assistance with this problem. This money order was for $1000 and I have already been evicted from my home.

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