A US court case has opened the door to compensation for up to 3000 Australian scam victims
A US court case has opened the door to compensation for up to 3000 Australian scam victims DERRICK DEN HOLLANDER

Been scammed? $586m in compensation now available

COMPENSATION may be available for up to 3000 Australian victims of a widespread Western Union money transfer scam.

A US court case has resulted in Western Union, the world's largest money service business, offering up $586 million (USD) in compensation to eligible victims.

A range of scams were covered by the settlement, including online and internet scams, lottery or prize promotion scams, emergency or grandparent scams, advance-fee loan scams and online dating scams.

Eligible victims must have suffered financial losses through the scams between January 2004 and January 2017.

Federal Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Minister Angus Taylor said it was a rare opportunity for scam victims to recover their money.

He said the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network had identified thousands of Australians who may have been caught up in the Western Union scams.

Those identified through the network will be advised in coming days that they may be eligible for a refund.

Mr Taylor urged anyone who suspected they may have been a victim to go to the official website and lodge a claim.

It's unknown how many Sunshine Coast residents have been affected by the Western Union scams, but locals had been targeted in the past year by a number of scams.

One of those was a phone scam where the scammers posed as telecommunications representatives advising victims their computers had been hacked.

Coast IT guru Dr David Lacey told the Daily last year his firm ID Care was fielding about 200 calls per week from victims of Cybercrime.

To make a claim in regards to the Western Union scams:

  • All wire transfers made through Western Union within and outside the US between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, may be eligible for remission.
  • Australian victims can submit a claim to the US Department of Justice online or by post
  • Online forms can be accessed via the US Department of Justice website
  • Postal forms can be downloaded, filled out and posted to 'United States vs the Western Union Company, PO Box 404028, Louisville, KY 40233-4028'