Scam of the day – January 23, 2015 – Green Dot MoneyPak card scam update

The MoneyPak reloadable debit card made by Green Dot, a California company is very popular with consumers to easily send money quickly anywhere you want.  Its convenience and inability to be accurately traced also makes it a favorite of scammers who often will trick their victims into sending money using the MoneyPak cards merely by providing the activation code and the security number of the cards that the consumer purchases.  However, as I reported to you in early September 2014, Green Dot has announced that it will be phasing out the MoneyPak card by March of 2015 and replacing the cards with a new reloadable debit card that will move the reloading of cards to the cash registers of retailers to be done through a card processing machine that Green Dot says will reduce fraud.   With this looming deadline, many scammers are increasing their efforts to scam people out of their money through the use of the MoneyPak cards before they go out of existence.

TIPS

Whenever you are asked by someone to quickly provide payment to them through a MoneyPak card, you should immediately become skeptical and give more thought to whether or not the transaction is legitimate.  In one scam that is currently exploiting the use of these cards, scammers under the guise of being IRS agents are calling people and threatening them with tremendous financial penalties and even jail time unless they pay the phony IRS agents by providing the numbers for MoneyPak cards.  As I have told you before, the IRS will never contact you in this fashion, so you can be sure that if you receive such a call, it is a scam.  Whether or not the phasing out of the old MoneyPak debit cards will reduce the fraudulent use of reloadable debit cards remains to be seen, but everyone should be wary whenever they are told to pay for something by means of wiring funds or debit cards which are impossible to get back.

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