Police say Central Texans losing thousands on MoneyPak scams
by Adam Shear
WACO - The Waco Police Department wants to get the word out that Green Dot MoneyPak scams are costing Central Texans thousands of dollars.
The green prepaid cash cards are sold at Walmart, CVS, and gas stations and are used to make same day payments and add money to PayPal Accounts.
Police say scam artists have started to use the cards as a way to steal money from vulnerable victims.
According to Waco PD, most of the time the con will contact a potential victim and tell them they won some sort of extravagant prize. These enticing prizes tend to be things like flat screen HDTVs, luxury sports cars, and large cash prizes.
The scam artist will then instruct the person to claim their prize they need to purchase a MoneyPak card to verify they have the funds available to either pay to ship the item or handle the prize taxes.
After the victim has purchased the card, the con will ask them to provide them with the serial number code off of the back of the card. Once the victim has done that, police say they will probably never get their prize or their money back.
"Chances are if you have given someone money off [a MoneyPak card] or you've fallen prey to these types of scams, then your money is gone and you'll never get a criminal conviction out of it," said Sgt. Patrick Swanton, Waco Police Department.
According to police, it is nearly impossible to track these scam artists because they use temporary phone numbers and more often then not are located outside of the country.
The back of the MoneyPak card advises users to only give the MoneyPak serial number to pre-approved businesses listed on http://www.MoneyPak.com. The card says if someone not listed on the MoneyPak website asks for your card number, then it is likely a scam.
Police say these scams mostly target elderly people and they have seen three cases of these types of scams in the last month.
Sgt. Swanton added that one of the most important things to remember is that if you did not sign up to win something, then you probably did not win what the stranger is telling you. He also said businesses selling the cards should make an effort to educate people about the scams associated with the cards.
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