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Western Union scam warning

16 February 2016

The TIO has been contacted by a number of consumers who have reported receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be their provider, or the TIO, and then demanding payment of money.

The TIO has been informed that the caller tells the consumer that they must transfer between $100 and $3,000 via Western Union to an overseas address to resolve the consumer’s telecommunications complaint. Consumers have reported receiving these calls before the consumer made a complaint to the TIO or sometimes during the TIO complaint resolution process.

In some cases the consumer made, or attempted to make, a payment via Western Union. Some payment methods such as Western Union money transfers cannot be reversed once the payment is collected by the recipient. Although many legitimate transactions are processed daily, these payment methods are also used by scammers. It is important that consumers are able to spot the warning signs of a possible scam call.

Western Union recommends that you should never send a money transfer for:

  • an emergency you have not confirmed
  • an internet purchase
  • the refund of bank or tax charges
  • an employment opportunity
  • fee advances for rental properties, or
  • credit card or loan fees.

It is also recommended you never use these methods to claim lottery, prize winnings or compensation payments, or to send money to someone you met online.

The TIO is a free service

The TIO is a free service for consumers and will never request payment from consumers who need to use our service.  If somebody contacts you claiming to be from the TIO and seeking payment, end the call and report the matter to our office on 1800 062 058.

Similarly, if you receive a call from someone claiming to be your telecommunications provider, and they request you transfer money to them by these payment methods, do not make a payment. We recommend you end the call and contact your provider using the telephone number shown on your bill.

Further information about scam warning signs is available from Western Union and Scamwatch

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Next step?              

  • make an online complaint
  • 1800 062 058                
  • Write PO Box 276
    Collins Street West Vic 8007                            
  • National Relay Service Call on 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 062 058            
  • Fax our consumer complaint form to 1800 630 614