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 Western Union's Responsibility

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Dharma
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Joined: 11 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I agree totally with buried under 419 emails

In my opinion, it’s not the job of WU to warn people, but they do it anyway. I don’t agree even with turning people away of the WU outlets, if they are warned and want to send money, let them do it. If you are dealing with an adult and stable person, it’s their own choice.

They are just doing a legitimate business for the public; it’s not their fault if someone abuses their services.

Suppose there are no WU or Money Gram in the world? Do you think scamming will stop?

Of course not, lads will find new means and the problem will persist because we are ignoring the core issues.

Awareness and education are the best solutions. WU is the weakest link here and they “legally” have nothing to do with the scams. The only case where they can interfere is if that the sender complains that the money was received by someone else.

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Morgain Le Fay
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
it’s not their fault if someone abuses their services


^^^ That is one of my points. No matter what the deal is (medicines, driver's licenses, inter alia) someone is going to abuse the system.

Warnings are put on many different items as ParaNoid pointed out.

Did I stop buying window blinds because of the warnings about deaths to cats and young children because of the opening/closing strings? Nope! I just watched my cats and children and sometimes put a rubber band around the offending "strings".

Do I exceed the warnings on OTC headache preparations? Yes! Because 2 tablets (the recommended dosage) does not work for me.

Does a 4-wheeler company use a disclaimer that children under a certain age should not operate the 4-wheelers? Yes, it does, but how many people ignore that warning and let their too-young children ride that 4-wheeler WITH supervision, whilst others ignore that and let too young children operate the ATV?

Companies are advised by their Legal Departments to put disclaimers on their products which is to absolve them of any use of a product so it limits lawsuits by individuals who do not follow the advisements listed on or with the product.

I mentioned earlier and ParaNoid also mentioned -- personal responsibility. A government cannot regulate everything and they should not have too. People need to take personal responsibility for what they do in life. It is all about choices -- and we all make them daily/hourly -- some are good and some aren't good.

WU has a whole page of advisements warning people about fraud, where to report fraud, etc.

WU is also very beneficial when there are local and regional disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, etc. when many people have lost identification. The test question makes it easier for people in disasters to receive the needed cash when all their ID has been lost. http://foundation.westernunion.com/?pid=usFtFoundation

Corporate responsibility
Arrow http://foundation.westernunion.com/corporate_social_responsibility.html

Now this is to advise I do not have stock in or any interest in WU, but I believe they do provide a valuable service. Personally I don't use WU as their fees are too high, and I can use Pay Pal to better advantage.

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TheDane
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Morgain Le Fay wrote:
personal responsibility.


My problems with that is, that it's only a few steps away from accepting that it's the victims own fault.

Look at Pirate Bay or Napster - they were made for people to share files, but were misused. Now, one is illegal and blocked in some countries, while the other was forced to change the service radically. So that's an example of suppliers of services that has actually been held responsible for how the services were used, and subsequently regulated by law.

The difference here, is that the copyright owners has a strong lobby. The 419 victims doesn't.

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username14
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Again, I totally agree that we need personal responsibility. I don't think anyone is arguing that. The issue with this is this: Have you seen the real world? If we all had that level of responsibility, we wouldn't need laws to tell us how to be safe.

In that world, if someone hit a parked car, they would own up to it, pay for it, and move on. Chances are, they wouldn't have hit it in the first place because they were driving responsibly. But accidents still happen, so they would deal with it and that would be the end of it.

If that was true, why is there a law that heavily punishes hit-and-runs? Because back in this world, people wouldn't fix the problem if they could get away with it. It's why laws, government, society exists. To stop us from hurting each other and ourselves, because, as much as I hate to say it, collectively people are stupid. And, to put it bluntly, our society protects the stupid from the stupider.

From another angle, where is the personal responsibility of the Lads? They are the hit-and-run drivers. They know they can get away with it. So either we, as the human race, evolve (fat chance) or we put a form of restriction in place (Laws, WU policies) with enforcement to punish this behavior. That is how our current society deals with its problems. But that bold word is key in this situation.

Edit:
Ok, I'm going to stop myself right here and concede to the experts. I originally only wanted to inspire thought but I crossed a line when I let it get personal. I guess my desire for an intelligent conversation leaked over but now I'm debating more with assumptions and less with experience.

On that note, I did want to add one more thing. I have to say Eater is one of the most mature communities I've seen on the net. You may not see it yourselves but from an outside perspective, I was very impressed. By mature, I don't mean all monocles and proper english. I think TWAT and the Todger Club speak for themselves. Smile

It's the common courtesy you, as a community have towards each other and even new people and outsiders. If anything, the rise of the Internet showed how anarchic a group of anonymous people with no consequences gets. But here, it's always friendly. For example, every time a new person doesn't read the rules and posts a Greetings thread, it is always met with a warm welcome.

I guess what I'm saying is you guys are doing a great service and a great job at it. Keep it up.

Now I'll slink back into the shadows and see if I can't learn a bit more before I open my big mouth again. Wink
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sagat
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Technically they are not liable. These days when filling out the 'send money form' there is big bold lettering that says something like "are you sending money for lottery winnings? if so speak to a member of staff" Some chose to override this and carry on (greed or ignorance?) Anyway the vast majority of WU transactions (including competitor MoneyGram) is legal and is often used as a cheap way for people to send money back to family members (even in Lagos) so it would be unfair to punish the majority based on the actions of the idiotic minority,
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N.O.R.A
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I've used Western Union a couple of times when travelling and found it very convenient. In some cases I've been annoyed as there is no WU in all countries and it's rather complicated to transfer funds in other methods.

WU is not the cheapest option though. For example MoneyGram is cheaper. As far as I remember, they both have warnings in their forms not to send money to anyone you don't know.

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dwatina
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@username14: Thanks for the discussion. Make sure you stick around at eater, okay?

And your positive comments about Eater and it's members is appreciated.

No need for you to slink off into the shadows. Stick around Smile

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username14
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:03 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Oh, I'll still be around. I just mean I'll go back to lurking. I actually visit here once, some times twice, a day just to look around. I find it all fascinating, but I think I'm better as a silent third party for the time being.

May all your lads call you jokers and your dollas be chopped. Smile
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Bart Fargo
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^All of us are here to help!! Very Happy

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dwatina
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:54 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Don't lurk too much, username14!

Jump in and get your feet wet. Get a mentor and bait safely. And--it's more fun to bait than to read about it.

When you are ready, we're here for you.

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Pastor Frank
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

username14, spirited discussion is a tradition here at Eater. Don't let it put you off, stick around and have fun.

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ParaNoid
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:25 am Reply with quoteBack to top

14, you didn't do anything wrong. A good discussion is helpful in clarifying issues and values.

I agree we are a very civil though often zany bunch. You will be a good addition to the zoo.. er... I mean crew.

Often these subjects have been discussed previously either on the open forum or by PM. It doesn't hurt to talk about them because the discussion helps newer members to understand why we do what we do and the issues involved.

---------------------------------------------

I want to clarify something I think TheDane misunderstood. There is a difference between personal responsibility and blame. What I and Morgain Le Fay were saying is with the use of any product, item or tool, there is a level of personal responsibility.

Sadly, most people do not consider their responsibility when using most products, items and tools. This includes the internet. Even Facebook gives options and cautions regarding personal information.

Most people do not read those legal documents, known as TOS or TOU. I am one of those people who has actually read the TOU for Eater and does review the Stickys from time to time, even though I read through them all when becoming a member.

We encourage people to Bait Safe and we define that and have a sticky about it and many threads which define it, yet from time to time we have users who continue to not bait safe.

We have topics that can get a user Warned, Banned and the topic locked of deleted, yet at least once a week such topics are brought up or a thread drifts into those territories.

Am I blaming?
Am I encouraging personal responsibility?

I am pointing out personal responsibility, at least in my mind. To me it is important to know what you are using and use it responsibly. This is not blaming victims. I spend plenty of time helping victims recognize they were scammed and recover from the damages done by the scammer.

I NEVER blame the victim. I do help them take responsibility and stop communicating with the scammer. I DO help them learn how to be more responsible users of the internet.

For me, there is a huge difference between blame and personal responsibility. Very Happy

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Chugg
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:52 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I think the other posters in here are right: Western Union and MoneyGram may be partly responsible for 419, but only to the extent that matches are responsible for arson.

Besides, the wire transfer is but one part of the process. Lads usually contact their victims by e-mail, so now Google and Yahoo are also on the list of accomplices. Many scams (though usually not 419) involve credit cards, which directly implicates Visa and MasterCard for not having tighter security. Since many lads will accept payment by electronic bank transfer, most major financial institutions are now on the hook. The list goes on and on.

It reminds me of a cartoon where a lawyer is facing a farmer in a courtroom, saying "So you admit that you are the farmer who grew the grain that was sold to the brewery that made the beer that was sold to the tavern that served it to my client, causing him to have an accident!".
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irishemigrant
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:25 am Reply with quoteBack to top

All I can say is thank (insert Deity of choice) that this didn't turn into another "ethics" thread Very Happy

Keep reading 14, you'll soon want to join in the fun, it's ridiculously easy, just open a gmail account with not real information, grab a lad from Surplus and reply Wink

After that, well, it all goes downhill from there. Make sure you have photos of any loved ones by your computer, and having dial-a-pizza on speed dial helps

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TheDane
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:08 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@ParaNoid: I didn't say that you were blaming the victims. What I did say, that using the personal responsibility argument as a reason that WU security shouldn't/couldn't be tightened, is as step down the wrong path IMHO, and I apologize for not putting that clearer. Just wanted that to be clarified. Wink (and by the way - the phrase "idiotic minority" was used about victims in this thread, albeit not by you or Morg).

I'm all for personal responsibility - in fact, it's a general rule of life. However, there are still a lot of areas in which personal responsibility isn't enough. To use my examples from earlier, the users of both TPB and Napsters are/were thoroughly warned not to use the services for sharing copyrighted material. I think we all know how those warnings worked. There are areas where society says that personal responsibility is not enough - we still have legislation that tells us to fasten our seatbelts when driving a car, and people still win law suits like the infamous Liebeck vs. MacDonalds case, even though most of us would have the opinion, that the little old lady had personal responsibility in the matter.
So where am I going with this? Well, I'm just airing the thought, that regulation in the money transfer area could be a possibility. I'm not saying it should, but that it could, and considering that there are a number of other areas that are regulated where personal responsibility could have applied otherwise, the thought doesn't sound totally outrageous in my ears. Wink

sagat wrote:
it would be unfair to punish the majority based on the actions of the idiotic minority


That may be - but nevertheless, the idiotic minority is why guns are illegal to possess in most countries, and why US citizens needs an ID card to buy one. Unfair to the majority? Oh yes. Wink

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Ima Baeder
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@username 14: Welcome out of lurk status! We're happy to have you continue to participate.

I've actually had several lengthy conversations with WU's fraud department. They have been very helpful in explaining their policies and anti fraud measures. They are a legitimate service that is being abused. They know it and they do have extensive measures in place to try to prevent it.
According to the info from my conversations with them: transfers can only be picked up in the country they were sent to and the country can not be changed. There are also country-specific regulations for sending and picking up transfers, with some countries which are knowm scam hot spots having more regulation.
That said: where there's a will, there's a way. Scammers can be very clever and find ways to abuse/exploit the security measures.

@ParaNoid: I loved your explanation of the difference between personal responsibility and blame. I'm also one of those people who reads the TOS before clicking yes.

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