The WFPD has noted an increase of scams involving the use of Green Dot Money Card. The reports received are of Wichita Falls residents falling prey to Green Dot scams. The Financial Crimes Unit under the direction of Sgt. Jerad Miller would like to share the scam methods used; to alert other residents. The fraudsters are very convincing and knowledgeable in their criminal tradecraft.
The cases received share similar methods each related to the caller asking the victim to obtain a Green Dot Money card.
The fraudster (Caller) poses as a Utility Collections representaive, Lottery representative, or Law Enforcement Representative etc.
The victim (business member) was instructed of termination of their business utility service pending a major payment which included mythical surcharges and a future payment and deposit. The business person was deceived into obtaining over $4,000 in green dot cards and provide the caller with the card numbers. The business person did as instructed to avoid loss of business and embarrassment. The caller (Fraudster) uses the card numbers provided to remove / transfer the funds from the card to his own card which is immeidately withdrawn, in this case the fraudster exploited the business person for additional funds, once it was learned that the call was a scam the caller had received over five thousand dollars from the business person.
It sould be noted that Financial criminals use computer apps that override caller ID so the phone numbers and names are false. The criminal methods used are ever evolving to avoid detection.
In other reports received a variations of Green Dot scams are used under the appearance of tax and handling expenses to release lottery winnings, pre-approved loans, College grants, warrants and payment for false magazine subscription service to avoid negative credit report entries etc.
In most cases the victims exploited are elderly and homebound, not commonly familiar of the scams making this crime even more detrimental.
The WFPD continues to investigate the issue and strongly encourages anyone who receives a call which fits the profile to notify the authorities BEFORE they complete any transactions.
The difficulty associated with successful prosecution is related to facts that the suspects operate from areas outside of our jurisdiction, commonly overseas.
The rules and method of identification protection and tracing information available by Green Dot MoneyPak makes the investigation more difficult and allows for this scam to be more effective .
This scam is costing local residents hundreds and thousands of dollars. The WFPD Financial Crimes Unit is dedicated to protecting the residents by offering insight into these type of offenses and prevention. In addition to reaching out to citizens, the department is reaching out to the goodwill of businesses who sell these cards as a tremendous asset in fighting this scam. If a senior citizen approaches the counter with a payment card, it would be helpful to advise the customer of the scam.
Resources available to learn of current scams and related crimes are available through community events hosted by the WFPD Community Service Section and Detectives of the WFPD- Financial Crimes Unit.