Fraud Alert: Green Dot Card Money Scams

Warning: The Green Dot MoneyPak Scam could call you next. This scam, has been investigated by the NYPD on multiple reports throughout the Island, according to Ms. Malliotakis (R-East Shore/Brooklyn) in a news release. The Advance has published  previous articles alerting the public to the scam and the need to notify the police when incidents occur.

The scams are “costing unwitting residents hundreds and even thousands of dollars,” Ms. Malliotakis said.

“These scammers continue to prey on the elderly and home bound, which makes their impact even more detrimental,” Ms. Malliotakis said. “Fortunately, the NYPD continues to investigate the issue and I strongly encourage anyone who receives a call which fits the profile to notify the authorities before they complete any transactions.”

The scam involves phone calls from fraudsters who lie and say that they represent a government agency or a utility company and then ask potential victims to make  payments over the phone using a Green Dot card.

Financial criminals use computer apps that override caller ID so the names of the utilities or government agencies that they falsely claim to represent appear on the caller ID of the victim.

A culprit typically tells a victim that he or she owes money to an agency or company and if payment is not made immediately, additional fines/penalties will be assessed or services will be discontinued or a relative will be arrested or deported.  Sometimes a scam artist will claim that an injured relative needs payment for medical treatment.

The victim then goes to a local store and purchases a Green Dot card for a prearranged amount, calls the scam artist back and provides the criminal with the card number and PIN number from the Green Dot card. The perpetrator then uses the information to remove the money from the Green Dot card, defrauding the victim.

“The store-owners who sell these cards can be a tremendous asset in fighting this scam, Ms. Malliotakis said. “If a senior citizen approaches the counter with a payment card, it might be helpful to advise them of the scam. The goodwill generated by rescuing someone from being defrauded has much more value than the profit earned on selling the card.”

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