District Attorney warns locals to beware of Green Dot scam
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office has stated that they would like the public to be aware of a Green Dot MoneyPak Card Scam that has been reported by local consumers.
Several consumers have been reporting being the victims of a Green Dot MoneyPak scam. Consumers are receiving several different types of calls, such as: Someone you know is in trouble and needs help, you won a prize, or you can collect on a government grant, someone claiming to represent PG&E, the IRS or local law enforcement – and many other variations, according to the San luis Obispo County District Attorney.
Instead of being asked to wire money, the scammer instructs the consumer to purchase a prepaid debit card and call them back with information off the card. Prepaid debit cards have become an increasingly common payment method among consumers, the D.A. said.
During the month of April, the D.A.’s office will be contacting businesses that sell prepaid money cards and ask that they display a consumer alert poster regarding MoneyPak scams. The poster will assist consumers in recognizing a scam before they are victimized.
Green Dot MoneyPak offered the following tips when using their debit cards:
• Never give receipt information about a MoneyPak purchase to another party.
• Use MoneyPak only to reload prepaid cards or controlled accounts.
• Refuse any offer that requests the buying of a MoneyPak and sharing the number or receipt information by email or phone.
• To use MoneyPak with PayPal or eBay or other online merchants, transfer the money to PayPal account before paying the merchant.
• Don’t email your MoneyPak number directly to any merchant.
• Don’t use the MoneyPak to pay taxes or fees to claim “winnings” on a foreign lottery or prize promotion.
• Unless it’s an approved MoneyPak partner, don’t use MoneyPak for any offer that requires payment before receiving the item.
The D.A. reminds consumers to guard against phone and email scams.
If you receive calls or an email or text from anyone asking for immediate payment with a Green Dot card, gift card or via PayPal, stop and consider that it may be a scam. Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP or visit their website at www.ftc.gov.
If you have additional questions, please contact the District Attorney’s Economic Crime Unit at (805) 781-5856 or the Victim/Witness Assistance Center at (805) 781-5821.