First off, I assume you know this but for anyone else who finds this thread on a search, most Western Union shops are scams designed to leave you owing your bank hundreds of dollars. The kind where they send you a fake check to deposit in your bank and then you send them money which they keep.
But with the scenarios you mentioned, you never fill out the form and you never send money, so you never have to provide a SSN. They are usually quick and the report is easy, but if you don't use the exact wording they want or ask the right follow-up questions, your shop could be rejected. The biggest hassle is getting the shops assigned and then attending the phone training session, so they have to be scheduled kind or far in advance and then you're locked into those dates for a small-fee shop.
I accepted one of these, and after I was able to access the guidelines, I immediately cancelled.
Way, way too much work (and, yes, if you do not use the phrase they want word for word, your shop will be rejected) for the tiny, tiny fee. You are totally out of pocket until the refund arrives; you're out of pocket significantly more than the shop fee. If you search the forum, you'll find many stories of shoppers unable to get "on the spot" refunds (for the scenarios that actually require sending money). And even more stories of shops rejected due to the shopper either not using the exact, word for word phrase, and so on.
I have done three of the Western Union shops. I DID have to fill out the form and send $20, twice to Mexico and once to Italy (I think, but maybe not). I did not get an instant or on-the-spot refund for any of the shops. For one (or maybe two) of the shops, the "refund" was processed along with the fee for the shop from the MSC. The other refund (or possibly two) was processed within a month or so and I just had to go in to any location to pick it up once I was notified that it had been processed. I did NOT have to provide my SSN nor the SSN of the person I was supposedly sending the money to. I have not tried the "bribe" scenario, which I think is the one that requires the word for word phrase use. The shops I did were bonused, otherwise I would not have taken them. They were more work than I thought the fee warranted, even with the bonus, but not too difficult. The hardest part was making sure I got all the printouts and then trying to get a pic or scan that showed everything and was still readable.
I've done the send money scenario 4 times and only had trouble getting my refund at the shop once. The representative had to call someone on the phone to get approval. Even then I still got the refund on the spot. The biggest pain was the receipts which sometimes they don't always want to give you all of them back. After that happened the first time, I took pictures of the receipts while I was waiting to go back and get my refund.
What's done is done. An egg cracked cannot be cured.
There are 3 kinds of lies. Lies, Damn lies, and statistics.