Good news alert for Highland scams victims from Highland Council Trading Standards

Highland consumers who have lost money to a scam involving payment through Western Union wire transfer between 1st January 2004 and 19th January 2017, are being encouraged by Highland Council Trading Standards to file a claim for a refund with America’s Federal Trade Commission in a bid to get some or if not all of their money back.

In January 2017, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million for turning a blind eye to scammers and other criminals who used its service to trick customers into paying for bogus prizes, loans, jobs, discounted products and other financial rewards in exchange for money upfront.  Reports suggest that Western Union received more than 550,000 complaints from people who lost money to a scam using its payment service.

The money forfeited by Western Union will be used to refund scams victims and the Federal Trade Commission has recently confirmed that UK residents are eligible to file a claim.   

Full information, including the claim form, is available on the Federal Trade Commission at  However, action should be taken quickly as the deadline for filing a claim is 12th February 2018

Mark McGinty, Highland Council Trading Standards Team Leader said:  “More often than not scams victims don’t get their money back, especially when cash is involved, so I am delighted at the prospect that some scams victims in Highland might see a return of their money.  I would urge any Highland resident who thinks they may be eligible for a refund, to file a claim as quickly as possible.”

It is expected to take up to a year to process and verify all the claims and determine who is eligible to get a payment.  Updates will be posted on the Federal Trade Commission website in due course.

Highland consumers requiring advice on scams are urged to contact the Citizens Advice Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or visit their website

4 Dec 2017