I know I post a lot about Western Union scams, but I do it so that people will read these stories and NOT FALL FOR THEM.
We had a deaf woman come in the other day who wanted to send $2,000 to Nigeria through Western Union.
I always know that it's a scam when it's to Nigeria, but these people are blinded by all the talk of money they will receive from these scammers.
Writing on a piece of paper, I asked her if she knew the person in Nigeria and she assured me she did. I wrote that this was probably a scam. She kept shaking her head no, insisting that she wanted me to send the $2,000.
So I did. But I added a test question to it so that the person on the other end could not pick up the money. A test question can be anything such as 'What is my favorite color?' or 'How many cats do I have?' in which the person picking up the money has to correctly be able to answer the question in order to complete the transaction. It's an extra security measure that Western Union uses.
So after I completed it and gave her the information, she came back in a few minutes later saying that the person in Nigeria never received the money and that she was supposed to re-send it. The scammers were telling her to resend another $2,000 because it didn't go through to them. And she was going to do it!
I told her to wait about an hour for it to go through and to come back. Well, she did wait an hour and then came back with a return number from Western Union in order to get her money back. She said the person in Nigeria never got it and that Western Union re-issued her the money.
First, Western Union doesn't automatically re-issue money to anyone. They make you wait hours, days, even weeks in order to get your refund. They are pretty shitty in getting anyone's money back to them.
Second, I didn't want to go through Western Union to give her the money back because then she'd turn around and send it right back to the scammers.
So I told her that we couldn't issue a refund over the weekend and that she'd have to go to come back on Monday morning.
I hope that during the rest of the weekend when her money was stuck with Western Union, she realized what a scam she was getting into.
Sometimes these people just don't want to understand or listen to what we are trying to tell them. $2,000 is a lot of freaking money. Most people around here never see that much in a year.
Western Union should just stop sending money to Nigeria. We have. Whenever someone comes in from now on and wants to make a transaction to Nigeria, we are telling them that we don't send money there anymore. Hopefully that will stop some of the scamming bullshit going on since Western Union doesn't seem to want to stop it themselves.