The coin of the realm of scammers for many years has been money wired by Western Union or other such services because once the funds have been wired, it is almost impossible to retrieve when the victim learns he or she has been scammed. Now, however, many scammers are turning to Green Dot MoneyPak cash cards which are sold by Walmart, CVS and others. These can be used like cash to pay for products or services or even to add funds to a PayPal account. Now, as I have indicated in an earlier “scam of the day,” scam artists are using these cards to swindle people out of money. A common scam involving these cards occurs when the victim is told that he or she has won a lottery or other contest and needs to get a Green Dot MoneyPak card in order to pay for shipping costs, administrative fees or some other phony charge. Sometimes the victim is told that they have to purchase the card merely to verify that they have the funds sufficient to pay for the taxes on the prize winnings, but once the victim has provided the serial number code from the back of the card, it is as if the victim had just handed the money directly to the scammer.
One thing that you can do to insure that you are providing the number from your card to a legitimate business is to go to MoneyPak’s website at http://www.MoneyPak.com to confirm that the company to which you are providing the serial number is listed as a pre-approved business of MoneyPak. Even then you should confirm with your own phone call to the particular company listed on the website before providing the serial number to make sure that you are dealing with the legitimate company. As for contest scams, remember, you never win contests you did not enter.