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April 8, 2014 > Green Dot ÒMoneyPakÓ card scams

Green Dot ÒMoneyPakÓ card scams

Submitted By Cmdr Michael Carroll, Newark PD

The Newark Police Department has seen a rise in complaints involving schemes that use the Green Dot ÒMoneyPakÓ cards.

MoneyPak cards are sold at local convenience stores, pharmacies and major retailers, and provide a convenient way to pay bills online and make purchases on the Internet. Unfortunately, the Green Dot MoneyPak cards have become one of the primary tools used by scammers to steal money from consumers. Scammers have found ways to deceive consumers into handing over the MoneyPak 14-digit security code over the telephone, thereby allowing the scammers to immediately transfer the money out of the account. Once transferred, the consumerÕs money is lost.

One of the more common schemes used on consumers to obtain funds through MoneyPak is a lottery or sweepstakes scam. Scammers will call consumers and tell them that they've won a sweepstakes or lottery, and that they need to pay taxes or fees in order to collect the winnings. The scammers tell consumers to buy a MoneyPak card and to place money on the card. Scammers then ask the consumer to provide the MoneyPak security code, allowing the scammers to transfer the money immediately from the Green Dot card to another account. The scammer can then get the money out of an ATM or make purchases.

Also, people have reported receiving calls from persons claiming that they are from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The callers claim that the persons they have called owe the IRS money and need to pay or legal actions will be taken against them. The callers then claim that the same persons should buy Green Dot prepaid cards at Wal-Mart, Walgreens, MoneyPak or at other large major retail locations, and provide them with the numbers.

This is a scam and please do not follow the scammers' instructions. The IRS will never ask you to buy Green Dot cards and send them the number, either over the phone or by mail.

If you need to verify information for an IRS email message or phone call that you have received, please call the IRS at 800-829-1040.

The MoneyPak cards have a yellow or red warning on the back of the card warning consumers of scams. The warning also indicates that Green Dot isn't responsible for reimbursing the consumer if criminals deceptively obtain funds from the MoneyPak card. Despite the warning labels, some consumers continue to get deceived by scammers.

The Newark Police Department provides the following advice to consumers regarding MoneyPak cards:

* Never give your MoneyPak number to someone you donÕt know.

* * Ask for the credentials and information from the company thatÕs asking for payments.

* * Be aware that MoneyPaks are pre-paid, so they act as cash instead of credit, making it much more difficult to get your money back once itÕs been taken.

* * Never give receipt information about your MoneyPak purchase to another party.

* * Use your MoneyPak only to reload your prepaid cards or accounts you control.

* * Refuse any offer that asks you to buy a MoneyPak and share the number or receipt information by email or phone.

* * To use your MoneyPak with online merchants, transfer the money to your online account before you pay the merchant. DonÕt email your MoneyPak number directly to any merchant.

* * DonÕt use the MoneyPak to pay taxes or fees to claim ÒwinningsÓ in a sweepstakes or lottery.

* * DonÕt take chances with your money. Be sure that you've checked and verified the company and all details before you make a payment.

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