Recently the Nashua Police Department has received numerous complaints of scams involving Green Dot MoneyPak cards. Victims of these scams have sustained losses of tens of thousands of dollars.
MoneyPak cards are one-time use cards that can be purchased from various retailers with cash. The MoneyPak cards can then be legitimately used to make payments to various authorized merchants, ‘reload’ prepaid money cards and to add money to a PayPal account for shopping at various online merchants. More information about MoneyPak cards legitimate use can be found at https://www.moneypak.com.
The MoneyPak scams are commonly perpetrated by one of three methods:
Grandchild/Relative Scam: A victim is contacted by a suspect purporting to be a grandchild or relative who has been arrested or in distress and in need of money. The suspect will then direct the victim to purchase various Green Dot MoneyPak cards to pay for bail, legal or medical services in order to keep their loved one out of trouble or jail.
Utility Company Scam: A victim is contacted by a suspect who states that they work at a utility company and are collecting money that is past due. The suspect informs the victim that they can avoid having their utility service disconnected if they immediately pay the past due amount using a Green Dot MoneyPak card that can be purchased at a local store.
Internal Revenue Service Scam: The victim is contacted by a suspect and are told that they owe back taxes, fees or fines to the IRS, and that if they do not make an immediate payment using a Green Dot MoneyPak card they will be arrested or deported.
In each of these scams the victim purchases a Green Dot card at a local store and proceeds to call back and/or are re-contacted by the suspect. The victim is instructed to scratch off and read the MoneyPak Number on the back of the card to the perpetrator, which gives the perpetrator access to the money. Also, in several instances suspects have used phone number “spoofing” when contacting victims so a caller ID will appear to be a legitimate company or government entity.
These are only a very small portion of scams being perpetrated by phone or internet nationwide. More information about the many common scams can be found at:
Common Fraud Scams:
Fraud Scams Targeting Seniors:
Additionally, searching for ‘scams’ using an internet search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing) will yield additional resources and information about scams. If you feel you have been the victim or target of any type of fraud or scam please contact the Nashua Police Department at 603-594-3500 to report the incident. Additionally, internet scams should also be reported to the Internet Crimes Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov.