Altamont Listener Victim of Scam
Published on February 14 2014 2:39 pm
Written by Greg Sapp
An Altamont listener is the victim of a scam, and wants to make sure you're not the next victim.
Wesley Duncan posted a note on our Facebook page. Duncan said someone claiming to be an IRS agent demanded for him to get a greendot money pak card and send them the money or Duncan was going to jail. Duncan said they contacted local police, but only after the money had been set.
Apparently, the scam artist might claim to be a utility company representative and threaten to shut off their power. The Duncans asked us to make you aware of this so you won't be a victim.
In case you haven't heard of it, the Green Dot MoneyPak is a prepaid card usually used by people who don't have bank accounts. The cards are available at retail stores like Walmart and CVS for $4.95. They can be loaded with up to $500 at most retailers or $1,000 if used at Walmart, and then used to shop online or to add money to a PayPal account.
Prepaid card scams aren't anything new, but here's the latest: A fraudster calls and pretends to be a representative from a utility company or an agent from the Internal Revenue Service. The victim is told that he's in default for a debt and must pay immediately to avoid having his heat shut off or, in some cases, to avoid deportation. The victim is then told to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak, load it with a specific amount of cash, and transfer the serial number to the swindler who then transfers the money to another card.
Scam artists are big fans of the Green Dot MoneyPark card because it isn't linked to a bank account and just like cash, it's untraceable. Unlike cash, though, the transaction can be done over the phone, so it's totally anonymous, making it just about impossible to catch the criminal. Also, the card offers no consumer protection from fraud, so the victim isn't getting her money back.
If you've been a victim, try contacting CrimeStoppers USA at 1-800-222-TIPS. Also, tell everyone you know so they don't have the same unfortunate experience.