The following information was supplied by the Town and Country Police Department.
Town and Country police are warning residents to beware of a scam involving the popular Green Dot prepaid debit and credit cards.
An email alert was sent out after police said several residents received calls involving the prepaid cards.
"Green Dot reloadable debit cards are the latest weapon for crooks working a well known type of grant scam," the email alert from police stated.
Residents are warned not to send money to anyone calling them about the cards.
Police released the following details of the scam in the email alert.
Several residents have received similar telephone calls related to a known scam involving Green Dot pre-paid cards. In one call the resident was told that he had won a million dollars and a Mercedes Benz but he had to pay a $400 IRS fee before he could collect his prizes. The victim loaded a pre-paid Green Dot money pak card with $400 and gave the suspect the 16 digit pin number allowing access to transfer the funds. The suspect then called back and told the resident he now needed to pay $4000 for taxes before the items would be delivered. The victim was instructed to purchase four $1000 dollar MoneyPak cards. The resident then notified police.
Another resident received a call allegedly from "Mega Millions" telling him he won 1.5 million $'s and a Mercedes. The caller also wanted the resident to transfer money using a Green Dot debit card.
Here is some additional information on related scams using Green Dot cards fromwww.scambusters.org:
Green Dot reloadable debit cards are the latest weapon for crooks working a well known type of grant scam.
The con itself is a type of advance payment scam in which victims receive what seems to be a grant award check -- usually one they didn't apply for -- with a request that they then wire part of the payment back to cover some mythical fees.
You know the rest -- the victim wires the money, then the check bounces.
Now that so many people have wised up to this type of fraud, scammers have hit on the idea of using the legitimate Green Dot card system to collect their money.
Along with the bogus check, usually for just under $5,000, an accompanying letter says recipients must pay a finder's fee of 10% to the "broker" who secured the grant.
Now here's the sneaky trick. The letter tells victims to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak, of the sort available at many retail outlets including drug stores.
MoneyPaks are used to top up existing Green Dot debit cards. The victim sends details of the card to the "broker." These are used to top up the crook's own Green Dot card -- and then quickly drained at an ATM.
In other words, it's a money transfer that bypasses the traditional cash-wiring companies and offers a far more effective cloak of anonymity for the advance fee scammers.