Recently, people have been telling us they have received phone calls from an individual or group of individuals informing them they had not paid a red light ticket, and there was a warrant for their arrest. The callers claimed to be law enforcement officers, and informed the people that in order to not be arrested, they needed to pay the fine immediately, using "Green Dot" debit cards. Unknowing to some of these people, this was a complete hoax.
Law enforcement agencies DO NOT call people over the phone requesting payment for warrants. These are handled by the courts. If you do receive a phone call from an individual claiming to be a law enforcement officer or calling from a law enforcement agency, simply tell them you will call them back at their department. Then, look the phone number up yourself, and call the appropriate department. Do not call any phone number the caller provides. After all, you can't believe anything they tell you.
Origin Of The Scam
This scam has been circulating the country for over a year now. In fact, the Flemington, New Jersey Police Department investigated a similar case, which was reported on Nj.com on September 24th, 2013. The information we received is very similar to the circumstances in New Jersey, however, it is unknown if there is any relation between the incidents.
How To Protect Yourself
From the Green Dot Money Pak website, we found the following tips:
- Never give your MoneyPak number to someone you don’t know.
- Never give receipt information about your MoneyPak purchase to another party.
- Use your MoneyPak only to reload your prepaid cards or accounts you control.
- Refuse any offer that asks you to buy a MoneyPak and share the number or receipt information by email or phone.
- To use your MoneyPak with PayPal or eBay or other online merchants, transfer the money to your PayPal account before you pay the merchant. Don’t email your MoneyPak number directly to any merchant.
- 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.
- Check this list of approved MoneyPak partners before you use your MoneyPak to pay.
How Do All Of Us Stop These Scams?
With the proliferation of social media, it makes sense to spread our message across the various social media platforms. Please share these tips with your friends and family in emails and social media. The more people who know about this scam, the less successful the crooks will be.