CAPE CORAL, Fla. A Southwest Florida woman fell victim to a national scam that used Western Union Company to transfer funds.
Peggy Farriceli received a Facebook message Friday from someone posing as her family member, saying she was eligible for a $200,000 government loan.
“I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I could help so many people, I could get out of debt,'” she said. “I could do everything I needed to do.”
But there was a catch.
The man texted Farricelli and told her she needed to send him money to pay for the loan application.
That’s when Farricelli realized something was amiss. However, she went to Western Union and send the $300 anyways, despite her suspicions.
The $300 ended up being transferred to Nigeria.
“I almost fell through the floor because I had no clue,” she said.
Farricelli wasn’t the only victim.
Western Union admitted Tuesday they were at fault for not following up on claims after a multi-state investigation into complaints of consumers who used Western Union’s wire transfer service to unknowingly send money to scammers.
The company received over 260,000 complaints since 2004, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Within that 13-year time span, customers lost nearly $360 million.
Western Union agreed to pay victims $586 million for their negligence.
Faricelli filed a fraud report with Western Union and is in the process of making a claim with the U.S. Department of Justice.
If you also think you’re a victim of the scam, click here for information about how to receive compensation.