Fake Internal Revenue Service-IRS Phone Call and Green Dot Card Scams

Fake Internal Revenue Service-IRS Phone Call and Green Dot Card Scams

Persons have been reporting receiving unknown calls from persons claiming that they are from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The callers claim that the persons they have called owe the IRS money and need to pay or legal actions will be taken against them. The callers then claim that the same persons should buy Green Dot prepaid cards at Wal-Mart, Walgreens, MoneyPak or at other large major retail locations, and provide them with the numbers.

This is a scam and please do not follow the scammers' instructions. The IRS will never ask you to buy Green Dot cards and send them the number, either over the phone or by mail.

If you need to verify information for an IRS email message or phone call that you have received, please call the IRS at 800-829-1040.

Who is Green Dot?

Green Dot is a leading provider of prepaid debit cards. The Green Dot personalized Card is a prepaid Visa or debit MasterCard Card that you can use anywhere debit MasterCard or Visa debit cards are accepted worldwide.

The card is prepaid, which means you need to add money to your Card in order to use it. It does not offer a line of credit like credit cards.

Geen Dot's Cards Security Concerns

Scammers are taking advantage of the Green Dot's cards because they lack the security measures such as identity verification found in credit cards, limited cardholder liability, and the ability to dispute fraudulent charges so that money lost due to fraud cannot be recovered.

  • In March 2010, the Better Business Bureau reported a rise in scams involving MoneyPak where unsuspecting victims would pay for items by loading a MoneyPak card, emailing the number to the "seller" only to have the "seller" drain the account and never deliver the promised product.
  • In June 2011, the Better Business Bureau and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety issued warnings regarding the illegal use of Green Dot's MoneyPak cards to defraud consumers.
  • In January 2012, The office of New York State Senator Martin Golden issued an alert from Con Edison regarding various scams, including "Green Dot scams."
  • In March 2012, Time magazine reported on how the 419 scam was now being adapted to the relative anonymity of MoneyPak cards. The AARP Issued a warning on the rise of MoneyPak fraud in 2012 that followed the decline in MoneyGram fraud after MoneyGram was fined 18 million dollars "to settle FTC charges that it allowed its money transfer system to be used for fraud".
  • In July 2012, Botcrawl.com first issued a warning about Green Dot Moneypak card services being used in malware categorized as.
  • In August 2012, the FBI also issued a warning that scammers were taking advantage of MoneyPak's untraceability to coerce unwitting victims into paying a "ransom" to unlock their computers infested with malware.AVG Technologies notes that in some cases (like the FBI scam), criminals are using malware to deceive victims into thinking their computer has been flagged for serious crimes, after which the relatively easy anonymity of MoneyPak cards is taken advantage of to allow for "untraceable" extortions.
  • In mid-2013, Green Dot MoneyPak cards were being used to commit fraud, with persons asking callers under the guise of a customer service agent for a utility company such as a power or gas provider asking for immediate payment under threat of disconnection using a personal card or asking the caller to head to a store selling Green Dot cards and giving them the card number the funds were placed on.
  • In September 2013, several Walgreens and other large chain drug stores through the United States were evacuated because of bomb threats called into the stores, with the caller asking for a 'ransom' from the stores of multiple Green Dot cards with large amounts activated using store registers which would then be placed in an unmonitored location for the culprits to pick up, or the numbers read through the phone.

Information above taken from wikipedia.org

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  • October 6, 2015 at 8:04 AM by an anonymous user from: Daytona Beach, Florida, United States

    This scam is alive and well and just happened to me last week. Thankfully I recognized a problem with the request before I gave them 2000.00 dollars, but not after I bought the cards.

    I then received a call from someone claiming to be green dot bank stating they are aware of a fraud on my cards and asking for the numbers. I did not give them. I received an e-mail last night stating the cards have been locked and a request to send my ID image on line. Green dot does not seem interested in the issue.

  • August 30, 2014 at 10:29 AM by an anonymous user from: San Diego, California, United States

    I was the victim of a Green Dot. A guy posed as an IRS agent saying I owed $2480 in unreported taxes from 2008-2014.

    This guy was really good.told me all my phones were tapped, don't call any 3rd party. All my assets were frozen. If I didn't agree to settle out of court, federal agents were poised ready to come to my home and arrest me.

    He would not let me hang up saying the Feds would come. I was on the phone with him for 2 hrs. The phone was on in my pocket even while I was in the bank getting the money and at CVS getting the Green Dot cards.

    I gave him all the card numbers. My phone ran out of power and I frantically drove home to plug in.

    My son was home by then and I told him what happened. He went on line to find the pages of info on the scam. The scam guy called me on my home phone and I told him I was aware of the scam.

    He asked me not to go to the police or Homeland Security and he would help me get money back. I hung up. He called back 4-5 times saying he was the only way I would get anything back. I went to the police and filed a complaint. The officer on duty pulled a packet and showed me Green Dot cards totaling more than $10,000 that had been turned in. I was stupid! I have heard many times that the IRS never asks for money over the phone. I do think thought that stores like CVS that carry cards that are used in scams should be aware.

    If my clerk had mentioned that she had heard that scammers were using these cards I might have thought twice and not be out $2480.

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Fake Internal Revenue Service-IRS Phone Call and Green Dot Card Scams