Attorney General Marty Jackley is warning South Dakota consumers of the scams surrounding the use of Green Dot MoneyPak cards.
The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division has received numerous calls from consumers who have been targeted by this scam.
Green Dot MoneyPak cards themselves are legitimate products when used for the intended purpose. The intended use allows consumers to reload MoneyPaks to 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.
The traditional wire transfer scam involves crooks asking for funds to be wired directly to them, but the MoneyPaks scam has 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.
The scam works in many ways including phone calls implying that consumers are behind on a bill or someone posing as an IRS agent collecting on back taxes that must be paid immediately. The scam has mostly surfaced as the age old scheme promising a winning sweepstakes and in order to claim the prize money must be added to the card. In all instances the intended victims are instructed to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak card, load the amount requested and then provide the number on the back of the card to the scammers, who will then take the money from the card.
Tips to help prevent being scammed include:
Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
Remember that anyone who has the number on a Green Dot MoneyPak card has access to the funds on the 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 via MoneyPak.
If you have been a victim of one of these scams or need any additional information contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or firstname.lastname@example.org.