Green Dot has become the nation’s No. 1 provider of prepaid debit cards, but with their rise in prominence, there’s been an increase in scams that have taken advantage of the services that they offer.
There have been 84 complaints since 2011 regarding the Green Dot cards, and according to a spokesperson for the Florida Attorney General’s office, these numbers are increasing at a rapid rate.
An advisory was issued by the Better Business Bureau when nearly 40 borrowers lost tens of thousands of dollars sending financing charges on MoneyPaks. According to the Federal Trade Commission, thieves running scams now are asking for MoneyPak payments, and more than 40 percent of their victims are over the age of 70.
Green Dot does not take responsibility for any fraudulent act that may occur through the use of its card. The money loaded onto the MoneyPaks is untraceable, similar to any common wire transactions.
Companies similar to Green Dot, such as MoneyGram and Western Union, have adopted fraud detection programs and electronic transaction flagging systems, making Green Dot the ideal choice victim for con artists.
Purchasing Green Dot prepaid cards is easy as they are found at most large retailers, major discount store chains, and drug stores. The MoneyPaks can be utilized to securely store funds until which time that they are transferred to another account or loaded onto another debit card. They are not meant for direct purchases.
Law enforcement and consumer agencies have agreed to partner with Green Dot in hopes of isolating the previous scam cases.
MoneyPak has provided a simpler way to send money where you need it the most. Consumers have the option to load up to $1,500 each day on MoneyPaks for just $5.95 per transaction. The money is held by a partner bank of Green Dot, and accessed through the number on the back of the card.
Fraudulent acts take place by coercing victims to load their MoneyPak cards, and then call back with the access number. Unfortunately, victims are unaware of how simple it is for crooks to gain access and empty out the accounts when using MoneyPaks.
Green Dot encourages all customers to be aware of common scams and follow these additional steps:
• Never give your MoneyPak number out to strangers.
• Never give out receipt information from a previous purchase to another party.
• Only use your MoneyPak to reload prepaid cards or other accounts you may control. • Refuse offers to buy a MoneyPak and share the number/receipt information by email or phone.
• To use your MoneyPak with other online merchants, transfer the money to a PayPal account before paying the merchant. Do not email your MoneyPak number directly to any merchant.
• Do not use the MoneyPak to pay taxes or fees in order to claim “winnings” on foreign lottery or prize promotion. Unless it’s an approved MoneyPak partner, do not use your MoneyPak for any offer requiring you to pay up front. A list of approved MoneyPak partners is available on the Green Dot website.