Since there are consistently people in the world who will stop at nothing to scam you out of your money, there are also consistently companies trying to figure out safer ways for consumers to do business. Green Dot has the MoneyPak system, allowing consumers who do not have a bank account to purchase cards and use them as debit. You can reload them and use them to pay your bills. Unfortunately, scammers have caught up and are trying to cheat people out of those as well. The good news is that there are some ways to avoid and outsmart scams using Green Dot MoneyPak Cards.
The most common way these scams are perpetrated is when you receive word that you owe a debt and, if you do not pay it immediately, you will be arrested. Wal-Mart has reported a variant wherein a virus pops up on your computer, stating that you have committed a crime and they have locked your computer so that the only way to unlock it and avoid jail time is to pay a fine immediately. They will then give you instructions to buy a MoneyPak card, call a number, and give them the information on the card.
The best way to avoid being tricked in this manner is to refuse to give out the number on the card. Do not give the receipt information to anyone either. The government will not ask you to pay a fine online with a MoneyPak card. As for businesses, Green Dot has a list of approved partners you should check before using the card to make payments on something you do not receive upfront.
If you do fall victim to one of these scams, or even if you recognize that someone is trying to defraud you in one of these ways, the best thing you can do is report it. If the attack is launched over the internet, you can report the crime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center. Furthermore, you should also report the action to Green Dot directly so that they can attempt to recover what money they can and try to prevent the schemes in the future.
Keep in mind that these scams use Green Dot MoneyPak cards, but these cards are not the problem. You can continue to use them if you are careful, and try to be as safe with these as you would with an actual credit or debit card.
Kari discovered the magic of writing early, in elementary school, and has devoted every spare moment to it since. She writes fiction for her own amusement, and recently began writing articles for The Daily Tar Heel in Chapel Hill. Besides writing, she loves spending time with friends and family, reading, and drinking coffee. She defines herself based on her faith in God, her family roots, and her dream of one day publishing a best-selling novel.