INDIANAPOLIS — Many people use money orders to pay their rent and other monthly expenses. But what happens if your money order is stolen or cashed without your consent?
Kelly Shropshire found herself in just that situation last November when her rent payment was stolen from the drop box at the apartment complex where she lives. Shropshire, who is a resident at Emerson Place Apartments in Indianapolis, says she was shocked when she was threatened with eviction.
"We paid our rent," Shropshire said. "I'm ready to get upset."
Whomever cashed the $635 Western Union money order removed the name of the apartment complex and replaced it with the name Harold Lee Williams. Shropshire filed a police report as well as a claim with Western Union.
Shropshire inevitably received a refund of $610, which included a $15 fee from Western Union for investigating her claim. Although Shropshire received a refund, Western Union says there are no guarantees. The company's forgery department acts on behalf of consumers to help collect money from the bank where it was first deposited, but cannot guarantee that funds will be recovered.
Shropshire describes the experience as difficult. "Very hard, it was hard. I wanted to cry so bad," Shropshire said. "But we struggled, you know?"
Should you find yourself in a similar situation, here is the process for attempting to get your money refunded according to Western Union:
"Western Union requires the customer to submit a money order tracing-refund request on the back of the money order receipt or complete the Money Order Customer Request form. This provides our research team with the information necessary to investigate the item. Western Union charges a $15 non-refundable fee to cover expenses associated with pulling the documentation and researching the issue. Stop payment on an outstanding Money Order is available when the request has been submitted and processed, but only if the money order remains uncashed."
"Once it is determined that the money orders in question have been cashed and a stop payment order would not be effective, the next step is for the customer to complete the Western Union Forgery Acceptance and Affidavit form. Once completed, Western Union will submit and initiate a forgery investigation with the bank of first deposit. The WU Forgery Acceptance and Affidavit form must be notarized."