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How to pay registration through Western Union

1. Know who you’re transferring to. Western Union is a popular way for scam artists to receive money from their victims, so be absolutely sure that you know the person that you are sending the money to, and that you trust what the money is for.[1] Western Union has the following guidelines on when not to send money:

  • Never send money to a grandchild, family member, or friend for an emergency situation that you haven’t personally confirmed through a reliable source.
  • Never send money to someone you just met online.
  • Never use Western Union for internet purchases (there is no guarantee that the person will send the purchased goods to you).
  • Never send money through Western Union for an employment opportunity or to claim “lottery winnings”. You will often be prompted via email to send money to West African countries, such as Nigeria or Ghana in these situations. Remember that unsolicited emails are often scams – you did not win a lottery and you weren’t selected by a “prince” to receive millions of dollars.[2]
  • Never send Western Union transfers for purchases or sales on sites like Craigslist.com. Sometimes, a buyer will claim to purchase something you have put up for sale and send a check for more than the price. They will then ask you to send a Western Union transfer for the difference. This is a common scam.[3]

2. Verify the recipient’s location and name. You will need their location so you know what city to send the money to. Make sure you know the name that is used on their ID because this will be used to verify the funds are being released to the right person.

  • Make sure that the recipient has a local Western Union that they can visit, and that you are able to send money to their location.

3. Send money from a Western Union branch. Find your local Western Union office and fill out the necessary forms. You can send money from a branch in several ways: via cash, with a credit or debit card, or from bank account to bank account. Using your credit card may result in a cash-advance fee imposed by the card issuer.[4]

  • Fees vary depending on what payment method you choose, where you are sending money from, and where you are sending it to.
  • If you are transferring from one bank account to another, you will need your recipient’s bank name, BIC (Bank Identifier Code) and IBAN (International Bank Account Number) numbers, and the account numbers. You may need additional information for certain countries.[5]
  • Money may be available after a few minutes or a few days, again depending on location and payment method.
  • Save the MTCN number. This is the tracking code and the recipient will need to give this when receiving money.

4. Send money through the Western Union website. Click the Send Money link on the Western Union homepage. Select Send Online. Fill out the form, and choose how you want to pay. You can either send the money with a credit or debit card, or with your bank account. The recipient can either pick up cash at a Western Union branch, or have the money deposited into a bank account.

  • Using your credit card may result in a cash-advance fee imposed by the card issuer.[6]
  • You will need to create a Western Union account to use the online transfer service.
  • Fees vary depending on what payment method you choose, where you are sending money from, and where you are sending it to.
  • Save the MTCN number. This is the tracking code and the recipient will need to give this when receiving money.

5. Send money over the phone. Call the Western Union toll-free number, which can be found on the website. Provide the agent with the necessary recipient information, and pay with a credit or debit card.

  • Using your credit card may result in a cash-advance fee imposed by the card issuer.[7]
  • Fees vary depending on what payment method you choose, where you are sending money from, and where you are sending it to.
  • Save the MTCN number. This is the tracking code and the recipient will need to give this when receiving money.
6. Use Western Union’s Mobile App. Western Union’s mobile app allows users to send money, track sent money, and pay bills right from their phones. The app is available for both IOS and Android platforms.[8]
7. Speak with your recipient again. Provide them with the MTCN number given to you by Western Union, which they can use on the form when they go to an agent location to pick up the money. Advise them again that they will also need a government-issued ID that matches the name of the intended recipient to collect the money.[9]