Frequently Asked Questions

What are Western Union® Agent locations?

Agent locations are places where you can transfer money using Western Union. Agent locations may be in supermarkets, grocery stores, check cashers, mailbox centers, drug stores, travel agencies, depots, and other retailers. In some countries, they may be in banks, travel agencies, post offices, airports, train, and bus stations, and currency exchange offices.

How do I find a Western Union Agent location?

You can easily find a nearby Agent location using our online tool.

How do I send money from an Agent location?

You will find it quick and easy to send money from one of our Agent locations: Provide the required information and show the Agent clerk your identification card. Give the Agent clerk your payment in cash and sign the receipt.

Find out more about sending money from an Agent location.

What do I need to bring to send money from an Agent location?

You will need a current government-issued photo ID.

How much money can I send from an Agent location?

You can usually send any amount you wish. However, for certain dollar amounts and transfers, you may have to provide additional information or documentation.

Find out more about sending money from an Agent location.

When can I send money?

You can transfer money anytime at Agent locations during their business hours.

Find a nearby Agent location.

How can I find out if my money transfer has been paid?

After you have sent your money transfer, follow these easy steps: Click on Track Transfer on our web site. Enter the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) from the transaction.

Check your transfer status now.

Does Western Union offer an escrow service or any kind of buyer protection for online auctions or other transactions?

No. Western Union does not offer escrow or buyer protection. To help protect yourself from fraud, never send money to someone you don’t know. If you suspect you may have been the victim of fraud using Western Union, contact us immediately.

Learn more about fraud awareness.

How do I pick up a money transfer?
  • Provide the required information to the Agent clerk with the government-issued photo ID and the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN)
  • Review and sign the receipt.
  • The Agent clerk will give you the money and a copy of the receipt.

Find out more about receiving money at an Agent location.

What do I need to bring to pick up money at an Agent location?
  • A current government-issued ID.
  • The Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN).
How can I find out if a money transfer is ready for me to pick up?

Select Tracking from the top of the home page. You’ll need the name of the person who sent you the money and the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN).

How does Western Union pay out money transfers?

Generally, we pay your money transfer with cash but in some cases, payment may be made in the form of a money transfer check or pay out card.

As a Western Union® Money Transfer user, we value your business and take pride in delivering your funds to the intended recipient in a fast, convenient and reliable manner. However, there are individuals throughout the world who will attempt to use any system to receive payments in connection with fraudulent sales or solicitations.

Make sure you know to whom you are sending money. If you are purchasing goods or services and paying through the Western Union network, it is your responsibility to verify the reputation and legitimacy of the seller. Western Union is not responsible for the non-receipt or quality of any goods or services.

Discontinue a call if a caller instructs you on how to respond to questions asked by Western Union.

Security is everyone’s responsibility. Stay informed about consumer fraud trends.

Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Are there common consumer fraud scenarios to be aware of?

Be wary if you are required to pay a fee before receiving a loan. Beware of sweepstakes, prize or lottery company representatives who tell you to transfer money to them in order to claim a prize you’ve won. There are many companies running fraudulent contests that ask you to transfer them money but give you nothing in return.
Beware of unsolicited letters or emails from a Nigerian or other foreign government officials requesting assistance in the transfer of excess funds from a foreign country into your bank account.
Beware of telephone calls from the police claiming someone you know has been in an accident or arrested and is requesting money.
Beware of unsolicited letters or emails offering an unrealistic price for expensive or difficult to find merchandise.
Make sure you know to whom you are sending money. If you are purchasing goods or services and paying through the Western Union network, it is your responsibility to verify the reputation and legitimacy of the seller. Western Union is not responsible for the non-receipt or quality of any goods or services.

I received a suspicious email from someone claiming to be Western Union, what should I do?

If you receive an email from a company representing itself as Western Union and you are not sure it was sent by Western Union, do not click on any links in the email. This may be a “phishing” attempt to fraudulently acquire sensitive information from you. Instead, immediately forward the suspicious email to spoof@westernunion.com.
Western Union will never send you an email asking for your user ID, password or credit card details.

Can the Test Question feature secure my funds or delay payment of a transaction?

The “Test Question” feature in the Western Union® Money Transfer service is designed for emergency situations where the receiver does not have proper identification (e.g. his or her wallet and identification have been stolen). It should never be used as additional security to time or delay the payment of a transaction. In many locations, Western Union will pay the receiver whenever the receiver shows proper identification, even if the receiver does not know the answer to the test question.

Does Western Union offer an escrow service or any kind of buyer protection?

Western Union does not offer an escrow service or any type of “purchase protection” policy. Western Union’s business is to transfer funds from a sender to a receiver. We caution people who use our services against sending money to people they don’t know. It is the sender’s responsibility to know the party to which the funds are being sent. Using a fictitious name or changing the Receiver name after the money transfer has been sent is not a guaranteed means of securing funds. If a receiver presents proper identification with the same name as on the money transfer, payment will be made.

Be wary of 3rd party “collection” or “holding” services unless they are a reputable, licensed escrow service. Western Union is not an escrow service, should not be used as an escrow service and is currently not affiliated with any escrow services.

Can I use Western Union to pay for online auctions?

For online auctions, examine seller feedback carefully and know the warning signs associated with fraudulent auction sales. Most online auction sites have safety guidelines or FAQs that can help you identify potentially fraudulent sales. Be wary if the seller is using a free email address or insists on accepting only one form of payment. Report any suspicious activity and file non-delivery of goods complaints with the auction site through which you purchased the item.

Remember that Western Union never acts as a guarantor of an auction buyer or seller’s performance.

What can I do if I suspect fraud or am a victim of fraud?

Contact your government’s Office of Consumer Affairs if you are uncertain or suspicious of a telephone, mail or email solicitation.

If you feel you have been the victim of fraud, you can contact your local police.

What does Western Union do to protect my information?

Western Union employs a variety of technique, including SSL technology, to keep your personal information safe.

Additionally, the following tips can help keep your password secure:

  • Make your password difficult to guess. Avoid using any part of your name, your birthday, or any words that can easily be associated with you.
  • Use a combination of letters and numbers, and a mix of lower case and capital letters.
  • Use multiple passwords for your various accounts to decrease your risk in case one password is compromised.
  • Avoid writing your password down where it may be compromised.

You can further protect your passwords by making sure that your virus-scanning software is kept up to date, and by running anti-spyware programs. These programs can help protect you from viruses or other malware that could compromise your identity even though your computer may seem to be working fine.

If you use Microsoft Windows, make sure your Windows updates are enabled to help keep your operating system protected. You can learn more about Microsoft Windows updates at https://www.microsoft.com.

Use extra caution when entering your password on a computer that does not belong to you. Viruses, spyware, or the browser settings might be used to compromise your account by recording your user name and password.

How can I find out the status of my money transfer?

You can check the status of your money transfer by clicking Track Transfer on our website. All you need is the sender’s name and the tracking number (MTCN).

How can I find out if my money transfer has been paid?

After the money transfer has been sent, you can use the Track Transfer service on our website to check the status. All you need is your name and the tracking number (MTCN).

How can I find out if money is available for me to pick up?

Just use the Track Transfer service on our website to track the status of your money transfer. All you need is the sender’s name and the tracking number (MTCN).

Why is my money transfer status “On Hold”?

There are a few reasons why a money transfer might be on hold. If its been less than 30-40 minutes since you completed it, it may not be fully processed yet. Please wait a few more minutes and then check the status again.

Sometimes we need to confirm the sender’s identity before we can process a money transfer. If this is the case, we’ll send the sender an online web receipt and an email asking them to call us. Once we’ve confirmed the sender’s information, the transfer will be completed and the receiver can pick up the money.

Why am I unable to use Western Union services after receiving the message “Additional info needed, go to westernunion.com/gcr”?

To protect our customers, we review every money transfer to make sure it’s safe. For a variety of reasons, we may ask you to provide us with more information before we can allow you to continue using our services.

Why do I need to provide additional information?

We need additional information to understand why you use Western Union and the relationship between you and the person or entities you’re transacting with. The more information you provide, the quicker we’ll be able to complete your request.

How can I use Western Union services again?

To have access to our services again, follow the steps below:

Gather the required documents. Please note that these will vary depending on your reason for using Western Union and your relationship to the person or entities you’re transacting with. At minimum you must be prepared with your government-issued photo ID, documents that relate to your purpose for using Western Union, proof of the source of the funds, and any additional documents that may provide support for the answers provided on the questionnaire. For more information, go to Help section at westernunion.com.
Go to westernunion.com/gcr or scan the QR code below and start the customer questionnaire.
Complete the customer questionnaire:
Personal information:
– Provide your first, middle (optional) and last names as they appear on your ID.
– Share your current email, physical address and mobile number. Please make sure you provide an active email address for communication purposes.
– Specify your country of birth.- Select your occupation and provide additional clarification if needed.
– Enter a recent tracking number (MTCN) if available.
– Upload a copy of your valid government-issued photo ID.
Relationships:
– List people or entities you’ve transacted with using Western Union.
– For each person or entity, enter the full name, relationship, purpose of transaction and upload supporting documents.
Source of funds:
– Choose the source of funds from the drop-down list and upload supporting documents.
Third party details (if you are transacting on behalf of someone else) (if applicable):
– Explain the purpose of transaction(s) and your relationship to the third party.
– Provide the details related to the third party.
Fraud (if applicable):
– Indicate if you’ve been a victim of fraud or
– If yes, share a brief description of what happened.
Review the accuracy of the information you provided.
Select Submit questionnaire to complete the process.

What documents are suitable and why does Western Union need them?

a. Valid government-issued photo ID is needed to verify your identity.

Examples: passport, driver’s license, national ID.

b. Source of funds is needed to make sure that the money transfers are not related to illegal acts and correspond to the nature of your activity.

Examples: at least the latest 3 months of bank statements, at least the latest 3 months of pay slips, employment contract with salary, loan papers, sale agreement, winning receipt, tax return statement, etc.

c. Purpose of money transfer or intended use of money is needed to understand the basis for making the payment and the type of relations between the sender and the payee.

Examples:
Personal remittance/family support – the following documents are suitable to prove relationship: pictures with persons you transacted with, marriage certificate, counterparty’s birth certificate, counterparty’s government issued ID, etc.
Business remittance/payment for goods/services – bills, receipts, sale or purchase agreements, etc.
Education – evidence of tuition fees, etc.
Medical expenses – hospital bills, pharmacy receipts, health insurance premiums, etc.
Charity support – written acknowledgment from the charity, etc.
Purchase home – purchase agreement, mortgage documents, etc.
Gift – receipts, etc.
Travel expenses – travel tickets, hotel bookings, etc.

d. Third party activity (sending or receiving money on behalf of individual or business) information is needed to understand the purpose and nature of your relationship with Western Union.

Examples: business registration documents, letter of authorization by the company or notary, bank statement showing access to third party funds, etc.

What happens after I provided the additional information?

After we’ve received your completed questionnaire and required documentation, we’ll email you a response within 3 business days.

In case we have additional questions, we may contact you via the email address provided in the questionnaire.

Are my documents safe?

We’re committed to the security of your personal information. We use organizational, technical and administrative safeguards that comply with applicable government laws and regulations to secure your personal information. We also restrict access to the personal information that we process to only our employees, agents and representatives that have a business need to know it. For more information, read our Terms and Conditions and Online Privacy Statement.