Scam falsely claims association with Western Union, United Nations

Jul 20, 2016

The Department of Business Oversight (DBO) has received reports of a scam fraudulently using Western Union’s name. Several consumers reported receiving emails purporting to be from Western Union claiming the recipient has been approved to receive the sum of $1.5 million from a United Nations (UN) “poverty alleviation program.” The message claims the recipient will receive installment payments of $7,600 via Western Union, but only after providing the sender personal information.

A second email claims the recipient has been awarded a $600,000 prize as part of a celebration of the UN’s 161st anniversary. The fraudulent solicitation says the recipient will receive their prize only after providing personal and financial information, including bank account number and bank routing number.

These emails are NOT from Western Union and do not represent legitimate prize awards. Western Union has no connection with the perpetrators of this scam, whose goal is to steal victims’ money or their identity.

The DBO urges consumers to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation that claims they’re in line to win a large sum of money from a program or contest or promotion they know nothing about. For more information on this type of scam and other fraudulent schemes, check out DBO’s Protect Yourself From Fraud (PDF) publication posted on the DBO website.