April 01, 2012 - THE MONEYPAK SCAM - April 2012
A new report came to my desk from an anonymous senior citizen involving what is called a moneypak. Let me begin by describing what a moneypak is and how it works. More importantly, let’s look at how the scammer is conning you with a moneypak.
A MoneyPak works as a cash card. You have to purchase it and load the card using cash from $20 up to a maximum of $500. You can add up to $1000 on a MoneyPak from Walmart only. Once you put money on the card, it is immediately available. And once the MoneyPak has been used, it cannot be loaded again. Each MoneyPak costs approximately $4.95 before you load it with your own cash, and there are no hidden fees or charges. MoneyPaks can be purchased at Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid, Kmart, and FamilyDollar.
The scam works several ways: a caller will excitedly tell you that you’ve won money, or else he’ll tell you a distress story instead, using your emotions if he senses that you are a kind and generous person who wants to help someone out. Either way, he or she will ask you to go to CVS or another retailer to purchase a MoneyPak for up to $500.00.
He then gives you a 1-800 number to CALL HIM BACK so that you can give him the serial number on the loaded card. Sometimes he’ll tell you that he’ll CALL YOU BACK to arrange a time to go to your home. Here’s the problem: if you give him the 14 digit serial number on the back of the card, you’re giving him your account number and other personal information so that he can now go onto his computer and purchase anything he wants with your loaded $500.00 MoneyPak card. All your money (cash), is now gone. If he goes over to your home, he’ll want your card before he gives you your “prize winning”, AND, you’ll get nothing in return. Again, you’ve just given him all the cash that was loaded onto the card.
And, once you give someone your MoneyPak card or account number, there is NO WAY TO TRACE OR RECOVER THE MONEY.
DO NOT RESPOND TO ANY OF THESE CALLS. Instead, report these suspicious calls to your local Police Department.
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