Police warn of scams asking residents to make payment with Green Dot Money Pack cards
On Sept. 16, a victim reported that she received a phone call from a man who identified himself as “Marshall” from the IRS and said she owed them $4,000. The man told her she had 30 minutes to pay them the outstanding balance or she would be arrested. The man directed her to purchase Green Dot Money Pack cards, load the money on them and provide him with the transaction numbers off the rear of the card over the phone for payment. The victim did so, providing the man with the transaction numbers, which allowed him access to $2,000. Afterwards, the victim felt that this was suspicious and called police.
On Sept. 20, police received a second complaint involving the use of Green Dot Money Pack cards. The victim was a local business owner who received a phone call from a man identifying himself as “Mike Lopez” from the United Illuminating Company. The man told the business owner that the utility company was changing over their electrical meters and the business needed to zero out their outstanding balance due prior to this taking place or their electrical service would be terminated. The caller instructed the business owner to purchase two Green Dot Money Pack cards, load the money on them and call him back to provide the transaction numbers on the rear of the card over the phone for payment. After doing this, the business owner provided the man with the transaction numbers of the card, which gave the scammer access to $800.
Police are warning residents that legitimate businesses and government agencies do not conduct business transactions in this manner and do not instruct victims to purchase Green Dot Money Pack cards. Verify any unsolicited business transaction requests by contacting the company yourself by a number or email address you obtain.
Anyone who receives a call like this should contact the local police department and the business or agency the scammer claims to be a representative from. As these cards are sold in several retail stores, police are asking retailers to monitor these types of activities and contact police. Green Dot has a fraud reporting number to contact as well at (800) GREEN DOT and their website greendot.com has information regarding how to avoid common scams related to their products.