A Pratt woman recently received a phone call, supposedly from her grandson who was stranded in the Philippines and needed money to get home. The voice sounded a little like her grandson — the caller said his mouth had been injured in a car accident. She knew he would not make the first call for help to his grandmother, but a "niggling" doubt remained. She called her daughter-in-law, who confirmed that the young man was not in the Philippines.
The scam has been around for years, and individuals have been taken for a few hundred to thousands of dollars. Once you wire money by Western Union, you can't get it back and you can't find out who received it, because in Western Union transfers the recipient remains anonymous, according to 419scam.org.
If the situation were real, the person in trouble could contact the U.S. embassy or consulate, which would provide emergency travel documents and an airline ticket back home, which would have to be repaid later.
There is no legitimate reason to ask others to provide funds by Western Union.