One Vanilla Scam: How to Prevent and Report
Common One Vanilla Scams
1. Advanced Payment Loan Scams
You are told that you have been pre-approved to apply for a personal loan. The lender claims that in order to receive the full amount of the loan, you are required to make the first two payments as a sign of good faith. The lender asks you to load funds to your prepaid card and give them the card number, and that they will, in turn, apply the remainder of your loan to the same card number. However, the loan never comes through and the lender cannot be traced.
2. Grant Fraud Scams
You receive a letter, email, or phone call claiming that you have been selected to receive a large grant from a company as part of a corporate grant program or assistance plan. Additionally, you receive a check for an amount between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. The instructions mention that you are to give your prepaid card number to the source of the grant program and then deposit the check, which represents the commission you need to pay, to your prepaid card. It is further explained that after you deposit the check, the grant program will apply the remainder of your grant money to your prepaid card using the numbers you sent. However, the check is invalid (FAKE) but by the time you realize it, you have already revealed your card number and lost your money.
3. Imposter Scams
You receive a letter, email, or phone call from someone claiming to be a law enforcement officer, a government employee, or even a relative. They claim to need money for a cause or because they are injured or in jail and ask that you purchase a Vanilla Reload and give them the PIN. Remember to always verify the identity of the caller. Explain that you will call them back. Always treat your Vanilla Reload PIN like cash. Never give a PIN to anyone or for an account you do not control.
Top 10 Ways to Prevent Fraud
- Treat your Vanilla Reload PIN like cash – never give it to anyone.
- Only use Vanilla Reload to reload your prepaid card or accounts you control.
- Never share receipt information about your Vanilla Reload with anyone else.
- Refuse any offer that asks you to buy a Vanilla Reload and share the PIN or receipt information by email or phone.
- Don’t use your Vanilla Reload PIN to pay taxes or fees to claim “winnings” on a foreign lottery or prize promotion.
- Don't use your Vanilla Reload PIN for any offer that requires you to pay before you get the item unless it’s a trusted merchant.
- Don’t email your Vanilla Reload PIN directly to any merchant. Use the PIN to load your prepaid card first and then use your prepaid card to make online purchases.
- Be aware of your surroundings. If the person behind you is crowding you, this may be an indication they are trying to see your Vanilla Reload PIN or prepaid card number. Ask them to give you some space.
- Be aware of Vanilla Reload’s approved partners before using your Vanilla Reload PIN to reload a prepaid card or other account.
- Avoid applying for loans online and always request an explanation of every fee you are charged. Do not pay a Good Faith Security or pay your fees via the purchase of a prepaid card.
If you have been a victim of a One Vanilla scam, please follow these steps:
- Call our Customer Care team at 1-877-429-8140. Please have your Vanilla Reload information and your receipt available when you call.
- Contact your local police to file a report.
- Contact the 3 major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert and obtain copies of your credit reports.
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
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