NEW YORK – Western Union has agreed to pay $586 million to the U.S. government to pay back victims of fraud that the money transfer company failed to protect.
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The government says that Western Union did not have a strong enough anti-fraud program, allowing scammers to use its money transfer services to rip off customers. In one scam, fraudsters would contact people to falsely say they won a foreign lottery and told them to send money through Western Union to retrieve their prize.
As part of the agreement, Western Union has also agreed to implement and maintain an anti-fraud program and properly train its staff to identify potential fraud.
Shares of Englewood, Colorado-based Western Union Co. fell 4 percent to $20.96 in afternoon trading Thursday.