A lot of people of reported receiving phone calls from scammers, pretending to be someone from a government office or private organization, asking them to buy Green Dot prepaid cards at Wal-Mart, Walgreens, MoneyPak or at other large major retail locations, and provide them with the numbers.
What these scammers would normally do is to threaten their victims in purchasing the Green Dot Money cards, by claiming that they owe the IRS or other government agents money and need to pay or legal actions will be taken against them.
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 infected 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