Better Business Bureau is warning consumers and business owners of multiple scams involving the use of Green Dot MoneyPak cards. Different versions of this scam are targeting consumers across the country, including consumers in Upstate New York.
Green Dot MoneyPak cards themselves are legitimate products when used for the right purposes. Once purchased at a participating retailer with cash, consumers can use MoneyPaks to reload other prepaid cards, add money to a PayPal account without using a bank account, or make same-day payments to major companies. Because the cards can only be bought with cash, consumers never need to disclose their personal or financial information to a retail cashier or to make a payment.
While many scams still involve crooks asking for funds to be wired to them, MoneyPaks have the added benefit of the crooks not having to show up at an office to claim the funds. Anyone with the 14-digit number found on the back of the card can drain the card of funds.
Callers to BBB of Upstate New York have claimed they were asked to pay a fee via Green Dot MoneyPak for million-dollar winnings. BBB warns you should never be asked to pay money upfront if you were to win a legitimate offer. A common reason given to further the ploy claims upfront money is needed to secure the couriers delivering your earnings since their lives are being endangered when delivering such a large amount of funds. Individuals receiving the offer halfheartedly believe this story but then contact BBB to verify it and are relieved to know they avoided falling victim.
BBB offers this advice to avoid falling for a Green Dot MoneyPak scam:
- Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
- Protect your Green Dot MoneyPak card number. Remember that anyone who has that number has access to the funds on your card.
- Never give out personal or financial information to anyone who emails or calls you unsolicited.
- Never wire money, provide debit or credit card numbers or Green Dot MoneyPak card numbers to someone you do not know.
- Utility companies and government agencies will not contact you demanding immediate payment by MoneyPak.
For more BBB information you can trust, visit bbb.org and “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BetterBusinessBureauofUpstateNY.