The Montgomery Township Police Department is warning residents that a new phone scam involving Green Dot Money Pak Cards is now happening in the area.
According to police, victims are contacted by a scammer, who says they are a representative of the IRS or a utility company. The scammer demands payment for back taxes owed or a past due utility bill. If payment is not received, they threaten that the victim will either be arrested or have their utilities turned off, police explained.
Scammers instruct the victim to purchase Green Dot Money Pak Cards in a specific amount, usually several thousand dollars, police said.
Green Dot Money Pak Cards are legitimate products that can be purchased at a participating retailer with cash. In the scam, victims are provided with a phone number to call after purchasing the Green Dot Money Pak Cards.
“When the victim calls the phone number, they are told to scratch off and read the Green Dot Money Pak Card serial numbers on the cards to the scammer. Once the scammer has the Green Dot Money Pak Card serial numbers, they are able to transfer the funds from that card onto a prepaid debit card. The victim has now lost their money,” police said.
Local residents been scammed out of at least $15,000 through this hoax, police said.
Police offered the following tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of this scam:
- Be suspicious of anyone who calls you demanding immediate payment for any reason.
- Remember that anyone who has the scratch off serial number on a Green Dot Money Pak Card has access to the funds on that card.
- Never give out personal or financial information to anyone who emails or calls you unsolicited.
- Never wire money, provide debit or credit cards numbers or Green Dot Money Pak Card numbers to someone that you do not know and trust.
Most importantly, remember that utility companies and government agencies will not contact you demanding immediate payment by Green Dot Money Pak cards.