Beginning today, a claims administrator working for the Federal Trade Commission will mail more than 34,000 checks totaling almost $18 million to consumers identified as victims of a series of cross-border fraud schemes involving payments via MoneyGram International, Inc., the second-largest U.S. wire-transfer company.
In October 2009, the FTC charged that MoneyGram agents helped fraudulent telemarketers and other con artists who tricked U.S. consumers into wiring millions of dollars within the United States and to Canada – after these consumers were falsely told they had won a lottery, were hired for a secret shopper program, or were guaranteed loans. A press release describing the FTC’s complaint and the settlement agreement with MoneyGram can be found at: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/moneygram.shtm.
The redress checks being issued today average $520. They are legitimate checks, and the FTC urges consumers who receive them to cash them within 60 days. The checks are being sent to U.S. consumers who complained directly to MoneyGram about their fraud-induced money transfers within the United States or to Canada. The redress program covers consumers whose transfers were made between the years 2004 through 2008. Consumers should call the claims administrator at 1-877-740-6993 with any questions.
The MoneyGram redress checks can be cashed immediately after they are received. The FTC never requires a payment of money up-front, or the provision of additional information, before consumers cash the redress checks they are issued.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, click: http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.shtm or call 1-877-382-4357. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. For free information on a variety of consumer topics, click http://ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm.