Deadline Looming for Scam Victims Tricked Into Wiring Money - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Deadline Looming for Scam Victims Tricked Into Wiring Money

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    Deadline Looming for Scam Victims Tricked Into Wiring Money

    Thousands of people were tricked into wiring money to thieves over the past few years. If you were one of them, time is running out to get your money back in your wallet. (Published Friday, Dec. 22, 2017)

    Thousands of people were tricked into wiring money to thieves over the past few years. If you were one of them, time is running out to get your money back in your wallet.

    Mariellen Hallcox was one of those people. She describes the phone call she received as terrifying.

    "They said they had my daughter in a basement," Hallcox recalled.

    On the other end, a man's voice said he had kidnapped her daughter, Lyndsay.

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    Domino's Pizza is tweaking its home delivery service for those times you're not at home.
    After years of delivery right to your doorstep, Domino's drivers will now deliver to outdoor locations.
    That includes beaches, parks, landmarks, and other outdoor locations across the country.
    Domino's says its drivers will deliver to 150-thousand locations from the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, to the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign.
    The locations are now active and show up in the company's app or website as "Domino's Hotspots."
    Customers pre-pay for their orders, select a location, and your pizza is on the way.
    Previously, Domino's delivered to offbeat locations, but, the new service sets up designated drop off points.
    The service was tested last fall in Miami before being rolled out nationwide.

    (Published Monday, April 16, 2018)

    "'If you don't give me the money. I'm going to hurt her, I'm going to beat her and I'm going to kill her,'" Hallcox remembered the person saying.

    Terrifying, indeed, but as it turned out, the call was part of an elaborate scheme.

    The self-described "kidnappers" demanded money to be wired via Western Union for Lyndsay's safe return.

    It's a hoax that landed Hallcox on the list of thousands who fell prey to the scams in which wiring services were central.

    "He wanted a couple thousand dollars. I said I have $400 cash," Hallcox said.

    She sent that money, like thousands of other victims, via Western Union.

    Canada Lawmakers Hold Moment of Silence

    [DFW] Canada Lawmakers Hold Moment of Silence

    Canadian lawmakers wore hockey jerseys on Monday to honor the victims and their families of that tragic bus crash in Canada that killed 16 people.
    The bus was carrying the junior league Humboldt hockey team to a game when a tractor-trailer slammed into the bus.
    Sixteen were killed and thirteen people were injured in the crash.
    Today's remembrance was one of a number of events that honored the team and their families.
    Earlier the lawmakers honored Rusty Staub, a major leaguer who played for the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets.

    (Published Monday, April 16, 2018)

    The wiring service appeared so central to these scams that three years ago federal agencies launched an investigation to determine what Western Union knew, and when, amid allegations the company didn't do enough to protect consumers.

    As part of a settlement agreement, the company admitted to failing to maintain an effective anti-laundering program and aiding and abetting wire fraud, agreeing to a $586 million settlement.

    Some of that money is now earmarked to repay victims like Hallcox. But with the potential refunds comes another warning: scam artists may be contacting potential consumers offering to help them get a refund through the Western Union process if they pay a fee.

    Consumers should not pay anyone to help them get a refund.

    Who's eligible for restitution and how does it work?

    Anyone who lost money to a scammer via Western Union between Jan. 1, 2004, and Jan. 19, 2017, can file a claim.

    Roof Blown off Apartment in Pennsylvania

    [DFW] Roof Blown off Apartment in Pennsylvania

    Storms in Pennsylvania caused heavy damage to a large apartment building, leaving dozens without a place to live.
    Residents of Luther Wood Apartments in Scranton have been evacuated after wind ripped the roof off the building. 
    It happened just before 6 a.m. Monday.
    As of 11 a.m., Scranton fire officials say 90-people have been evacuated from the building, and another 35 may be forced to leave.
    A shelter is being set up to help the residents of the senior apartment complex.
    No word on any injuries.

    (Published Monday, April 16, 2018)

    It must be submitted by Feb. 12, 2018.

    Each claim must be verified by the U.S. Department of Justice. The amount victims get depends on how much they lost and how many victims submit valid claims.

    Still shaken by the ordeal, Hallcox is both hoping to get her money back and to pay it forward by sharing her cautionary tale.

    "If I can help anybody out there, maybe there will be less of them feeding off of us," she said.

    At the time it agreed to the settlement, Western Union said it shared the government's goal of protecting consumers and worked hard to resolve these matters.

    Bus Carrying Students Crashes Into Wall

    [DFW] Bus Carrying Students Crashes Into Wall

    Eight people were injured in an accident captured by video in Kumamoto, southwestern Japan. The 62-year-old driver and eight members of the Amakusa High School handball team aboard suffered light injuries and were taken to a hospital. A school employee said the driver was nodding off.

    (Published Monday, March 26, 2018)

    Consumers who have already filed a complaint with Western Union, the FTC or the Attorney General's Office, should have received a claim form in the mail by now.

    MORE:For more information from the Federal Trade Commission, click here.


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