We would advise that you never send payment by Western Union unless you are using it to send money to people you know and trust such as friends and family.
Transferring money electronically is often the preferred method used by internet fraudsters. Remember the following points when deciding on a payment method:
Western Union Only use money transfer agents such as Western Union for friends and family. This method should not be used to transfer money to people that you do not know or whose identity you cannot verify. See more Tips on Spotting Fraud
Money Transfer When money transfer services are being used in connection with fraudulent activity, whilst the person collecting the money has to produce identification, the documents produced by these fraudsters are often false, making the recovery of any money sent by this method extremely difficult. The Metropolitan Police Service recently joined forces with Western Union to combat ‘high volume’ fraud.
Online Auctions Sites Never send money outside of an On-line auction site. Be wary of individuals suggesting that after making the winning bid, second chance offer or offering the goods at a reduced price, then ask you step outside the online auction site and pay them directly. If you choose to move away from the auction site you have little or no security, no matter what the seller says, you are effectively sending your hard earned cash to a stranger on trust alone.
Lottery Winning Funds Never send money via money transfer service if you have been in receipt of lottery fraud email, during which you are encouraged by the fraudster to send money in the form of advance fees to gain the release of the lottery funds, as genuine lotteries will never ask you for such funds to pay taxes or release fees. In fact, genuine lotteries, such as the UK Big Lottery has no idea who has bought the winning ticket, so will never be able to contact you telling you about your ‘unclaimed’ prize money. Never send these people money by any method.
419 Scam Emails Never send money via money transfer service if you have been in receipt of a ‘419’ email offering you a cut of a large sum of money the if you help to release it from a bank account. If you respond, during the discussions with the fraudster you will be encouraged by them to send them money in the form of advance fees to gain the release of the funds mentioned in the email, usually a ridiculous figure mentioned that is in the millions. Never send these people money by any method.
Selling Property Never send money via money transfer service if you have been in receipt of cheque payment from someone in a sum greater than that you are asking (known as criminal cash back) for the item you are selling or property you are renting. After the cheque has been paid into your account, the fraudster will encourage you to send to them or someone else the difference by money transfer or bank transfer. Never send these people money by any method. If the cheque is stolen or forged it often can take more than 3 days, sometimes considerable longer, before that cheque is identified as being stolen or forged. Not only have you already sent the funds by money transfer with no means of recovering it, you will find that your bank account will have the original debt reversed, leaving you with the loss of the funds withdrawn and sent via money transfer.