REQUESTING INFORMATION FROM WESTERN UNION
Ideally, you would like to find out :
Please note that if there were more than one transfer, please ask Western Union to look up information about the pick up location of all transfers individually.
You need this information because the city where the money were received is the actual place where the crime occurred, as far as Russian police is concerned, and that information is vital to the success of the case.
In 70-80% of the cases, the scammers try to hide their actual location in Russia in an effort to avoid being figured out too soon (before they have time to milk the victim for the money). For example, a scammer may say that he or she is living in Kazan, Tatarstan Republic, all the while he or she is actually living (and scamming) in Yoshkar-Ola, which is a next republic over.
If you do not double-check the location information provided to you by the scammer, you will send your complaint to the law enforcement in Tatarstan Republic, and they naturally won't be able to find any trace of the scammers in their jurisprudence. The case then might be sent to Moscow for further consideration, or it could be simply set aside and forgotten about.
To avoid all these problems, it is best to check the city where the money was really picked up BEFORE filing the complaint with police.
If you find out that your panpal claimed to live in Kazan but the money was received in Yoshkar-Ola, for example, the actual crime occurred in Yoshkar-Ola, and the complaint needs to be filed with Yoshkar-Ola police and not with Kazan police.
To request that information, you will have to contact Western Union (we cannot do it for you).
To do that, you have 2 choices:
Provide Western Union representatives with MTCN numbers, the dates, and the name of the receiver. That should be sufficient for them the look up the transfer, if it is relatively recent. If the transfer happened a while ago, the process of locating the transfer information can take longer (several weeks).
Please record the answer you will get from Western Union - this will become evidence in your criminal case against the scammers.
When filling out the prosecution assistance request form, please make sure to mention the information provided to you by Western Union.
It is important not to only file complaint with Russian police - it is also important to let Western Union know what happened. They have a black lists of their own, and they can add your scammer's name to the list. Next time someone will be trying to send money to this person, the Western Union employees may alert the unsuspecting victim to the fact that the name of the recipient has already been reported as fraud.
To put the name of your scammer into their black list, please contact Western Union and ask to speak to someone from the Fraud Department. They should know how to handle your report.
Apparently, different Western Union employees are being provided different instructions for the proper procedures for handling of the receiver's information., so different victims have different degrees of success when requesting information from Western Union.
Most of the time, Western Union cooperates with the sender (the victim) and provides the victim with the information about the city where the money was received. In some cases, however, if refuses to provide such information without a court order.
What to do if Western Union has refused to provide you with information?
1) Try calling or writing again at a different time, and speaking to a different representative and, if necessary, to a supervisor.
2) If Western Union absolutely refuses to provide you with the information, you will have to file complaint with the central "prokuratura" (law enforcement) office in Moscow, and let them request the information from the Western Union in Moscow. Although it adds alot of time to the processing of the criminal case, the main thing is that you will still be able to file for the prosecution.