UTICA, N.Y. — Life in the digital era has made things like depositing a check that much easier, but it also makes getting scammed for money easier as well.
“In the past, scams were limited to either written or phone, and written scams in the mail are more difficult because, first of all, you have something in writing, and there is post fraud,” said attorney Mark Wolber. “Telephone fraud is a bit harder because they have limited time and people do tend to hang up on that.”
Companies like Western Union allow people to wire money online, and scammers use this to their advantage.
“In this particular case, some of the money was sent via Western Union, and there was a settlement made throughout the United States which Western Union has agreed to contribute a sum of money, which will then be divided among those persons who claim to have been victims,” Wolber said.
He said people can use personal information we keep online to help make scams more believable. Some of the stories Wolber hears most often are people pretending to be the IRS or asking for money to bail out a family member.
“I will tell people that generally speaking, if you receive a solicitation from someone asking you to send money, it is most likely a scam,” he said.
Anyone who wired money through Western Union that resulted in a scam between Jan. 2004 and Jan. 2017 is eligible to file a claim for compensation, but it must be done before Feb. 12.