Your BBB serving Central California is warning consumers about scammers using the Green Dot Moneypak prepaid cards to scam you. These cards are re-loadable debit cards and are sold nationwide at many local stores.
Moneypaks can be used to pay bills online and make purchases on the Internet. It's convenient for consumers to use these cards without the threat of risk to their bank accounts. Unfortunately, criminals are using them to con consumers.
Scammers will typically call or email you stating you have won the lottery, a sweepstake or they will attempt to sell you a product at a discount price. Then they will say you need to pay a fee to get your prize or product. Then they will ask you for the 14-digit code found on the back of the MoneyPak card. If you fall for that, you have given them instant access to your card.
To avoid falling for MoneyPak scams, consumers should:
1. Never give your MoneyPak number to someone you don't know.
2. Do not give receipt information about your MoneyPak purchase to another party.
3. Use your MoneyPak only to reload your prepaid cards or accounts you control.
4. Refuse any offer that asks you to buy a MoneyPak and share the number or receipt information by email or phone.
5. Don't email your MoneyPak number directly to any merchant. To use your MoneyPak with PayPal or eBay or other online merchants, transfer the money to your PayPal account before you pay the merchant.
6. Don't use the MoneyPak to pay taxes or fees to claim "winnings" on a foreign lottery or prize promotion. Unless it's an approved MoneyPak partner, don't use MoneyPak for any offer that requires you to pay before you get the item.