FRANKFORT, KY. (Feb. 16, 2016) – Kentuckians who were tricked into using MoneyGram to unknowingly wire money to scammers may be eligible to receive restitution under a multistate settlement agreement announced today by Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear.
Kentucky, 48 states and the District of Columbia participated in the settlement with Dallas-based MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc. MoneyGram has agreed to pay a total of $13 million to the states to fund a nationwide consumer restitution program. The settlement provides for an independent third party to review MoneyGram records and send notices to all Kentuckians who are eligible to receive restitution under this settlement.
“Over the last six weeks we have seen a rise in the number of scams bombarding Kentuckians,” Beshear said. “As part of these scams, con artists use a wide variety of ways to persuade consumers to wire money, just as they did surrounding the investigation and settlement with MoneyGram. Besides providing restitution to Kentuckians, the company will now have effective anti-fraud measures to prevent Kentuckians from suffering financial losses as a result of these fraud induced money transfers.”
Beshear said consumers who receive solicitations from strangers promising big winnings should toss those letters in the trash, delete the e-mail or hang up the phone.
“Consumers who are contacted about a grandchild, friend or family member in distress should reach out separately to the friend or family members to independently verify that the relative is actually in need of the assistance.”
Beshear said his office wants to highlight several important facts about this settlement that will help Kentuckians who may be eligible for restitution:
• It is anticipated that Kentuckians will receive a full refund based on the transfer amounts provided by to them in your complaint to MoneyGram. Depending on the number of claims filed and the total dollars claimed, however, consumers may be provided a pro-rated amount.
• If Kentuckians have moved or did not use their current mailing address when they sent the fraud induced money transfers, call 888-566-1411 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• It is estimated that the settlement administrator will be contacting eligible Kentuckians before June 1, 2016. More information about this settlement is available at the settlement administrator’s website: www.MoneyGramSettlement.com
• If Kentuckians are concerned a family member is a victim of fraud, they can also contact MoneyGram and other wire transfers companies to request that their family member be placed on an “Internal Watch List.” Internal Watch
List means MoneyGram’s list of individuals whom the company blocks from sending or receiving Money Transfers, without first contacting the individual to determine if the transaction is for a legitimate purpose. Requests for placement on MoneyGram’s Internal Watch List may be directed to Escalation_Issues@moneygram.com
One of the critical missions of the AG’s Office is to help Kentucky families and seniors recognize and avoid scams. Beshear has recently warned consumers of a scam involving phone calls to Kentuckians claiming they had won the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, a scam targeting victims of financial fraud, a federal warrant scam and an IRS Scam.