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Fraudsters Scam Victims with the Green Dot MoneyPak Card

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Dark Street

There’s something new sweeping the nation, and unfortunately it’s not a hot dance move. The Green Dot MoneyPak scam is making headlines from coast to coast and bilking victims out of thousands dollars.

What is Green Dot MoneyPak?

 In case you haven’t heard of it, the Green Dot MoneyPak is a prepaid card usually used by people who don’t have bank accounts. The cards are available at retail stores like Walmart and CVS for $4.95. They can be loaded with up to $500 at most retailers or $1,000 if used at Walmart, and then used to shop online or to add money to a PayPal account.

How the scam works

Prepaid card scams aren’t anything new, but this is the latest: A fraudster calls and pretends to be a representative from a utility company or an agent from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The victim is told that he’s in default for a debt and must pay immediately to avoid having his heat shut off, or, in some cases, to avoid deportation. The victim is then told to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak card (usually at Walmart), load it with a specific amount of cash, and transfer the serial number to the swindler who then transfers the money to another card.

Scam artists are big fans of the Green Dot MoneyPak card because it isn’t linked to a bank account and just like cash, it’s untraceable. Unlike cash, though, the transaction can be done over the phone, so it’s totally anonymous, making it just about impossible to catch the criminal. Also, the card offers no consumer protection from fraud, so the victim isn’t getting her money back.

How to spot a scam

We all think we’re scam-savvy, but occasionally a a fraudster gets past our defenses. Now that you know about the Green Dot MoneyPak scam, you’re not likely to fall prey to it, but there’s a new scam lurking around every corner, waiting to pounce. Here’s how to stay safe:

  1. Never give personal information to a stranger.
  2. Be wary of anyone who calls on the phone trying to collect a debt. Look up the phone number of the organization the caller claims to represent (not the number on the caller ID) and check on your account.
  3. Call local police and ask whether residents have reported suspicious phone calls. You might also inquire about door-to-door collectors or salespeople.
  4. Keep in mind that many organizations don’t accept payment via prepaid card. Be wary of anyone who’s asking for this type of payment.
  5. Green Dot Corporation has its own tips for how to avoid fraud, and they discourage consumers from ever handing over a prepaid card number to anyone.
  6. Seniors are considered easy prey to fraudsters, so help keep your parents, grandparents, or other elders safe by informing them about the latest scams. Also, NerdWallet offers some general suggestions for fraud and identity theft protection.

What to do if you’ve been scammed

If you believe you’ve been the victim of a Green Dot MoneyPak scam, call your local police department immediately. Green Dot Corporation encourages you to report the crime to its company either online or by phone, and asks that you have your Green Dot MoneyPak card number and receipt for a reference. The company is very clear, though, that it will not offer a refund when victims have shared the card number with a criminal. You might also consider contacting CrimeStoppers USA at 1-800-222-TIPS. Last but not least, tell everyone you know. When it comes to scams, word spreads faster than photos of wet kittens on Facebook, and you might prevent someone else from becoming a victim.

Street image via Shutterstock

  • http://gmail.com Veda McDaniel Childers

    I was scammed also! They said they were from the government and I qualified for a grant! Now I may get kicked out of my house cause I lost my rent money! Dear God I am so sick on my stomach!! I am also sick and can’t work right now. I need some solid advice!! VC

  • Brion Pennington

    Conversation I had today I never trust anything i see on the internet so i did my research I have been scammed one time in my life will never happen again……

    3:16pm

    Ashely Sanders

    Ok
    I am a manager at visa corporation money center. I can see every
    transaction that is done in our system. I can go into my system and add a
    zero to any amount loaded on the moneypak $200 and up. I’ll do this
    then I press the return to sender button but I ask for 20% in return

    3:17pm

    Brion Pennington

    i dont have a credit card or i would lol

    3:17pm

    Ashely Sanders

    I’ll
    be creating you a Greendot or an vanilla account that you can log in to
    and monitor your money yourself. You go to any local cvs, Kmart,
    walgreens, speedway, rite aid, 7/11, dollar general or family dollar and
    purchase a Green Dot or vanilla MoneyPak card load it with $200 or more
    then I’ll go in my system and add a zero on it then I’ll press the
    return to sender button. This is the card you need its $5. After the
    process is complete you can load the money to a PayPal account or a
    prepaid card debit card or you can get a cash advance from Wal-Mart or
    your bank or you can load it direct deposit to your bank account.

    3:17pm

    Ashely Sanders

    3:21pm

    Brion Pennington

    so if i put 400 on it you want 800

    3:22pm

    Ashely Sanders

    Exactly hunny that’s exactly how it’s works

    3:23pm

    Brion Pennington

    im kind of skeptical how long does the process take and how do you get your money

    3:23pm

    Ashely Sanders

    3:24pm

    Ashely Sanders

    I’m a legit business woman

    There’s no need to be skeptical I’m a 100% legit I’m also a woman of god I make sure all my clients are satisfied

    3:24pm

    Brion Pennington

    i got that but i just want to make sure i get paid lol

    3:24pm

    Ashely Sanders

    3:25pm

    Ashely Sanders

    Sweetie I have my own money trust me

    3:26pm

    Brion Pennington

    k ill shoot ya message tomorow after i get the card

    3:26pm

    Ashely Sanders

    May I ask when will that actually be I’m here at 9 a.m

    3:27pm

    Brion Pennington

    i can do it by then

    3:27pm

    Ashely Sanders

    Great hit me as soon as you have purchased and loaded the moneypak

    3:27pm

    Brion Pennington

    ok will do thanks for the offer sweets

    3:28pm

    Ashely Sanders

    OK hunny enjoy the rest of your day as well

    3:28pm

    Ashely Sanders

    3:28pm

    Ashely Sanders

    Moneypak not the gold visa

    3:31pm

    Brion Pennington

    gotcha

    3:31pm

    Ashely Sanders

    OK great

  • cj

    I swear I’m thinking about scamming people myself they don’t get in trouble and it’s good money….times are hard out here and I am too injured to work….sometimes if you can’t make it you have to take it I guess….i know it’s wrong but it’s crazy to see how easy these guys are pulling this off….maybe I shouldn’t. …idk

  • madintenn

    How many people have been scammed by the loan scam? I was dupped today. I have some info like phone numbers and where my phone said they were calling from. The companies were the 24/7 loans and advance ? Something…