I-Team: Green Dot card scam warning

I-Team: Green Dot card scam warning

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ATLANTA -

Lots of people are relying on Green Dot cards to shop or pay bills.   It's a re-loadable pre-paid debit card, but it's cash in hand, so if someone gets hold of that number, it can be drained of money in no time. Some scammers are trying to do just that by pretending to be the cable company.

It can happen with any utility or service, but the latest complaint the FOX 5 I-Team got came from a Comcast customer. It's your typical phishing expedition trying to get your personal information, only in this case, they're trying to get your Green Dot number.

The Better Business Bureau is well-versed on this.  Scammers pose as someone from your utility company to get access to your money. But using Green Dot prepaid debit cards is the new lure.

"This scam is just like the next generation of wiring money," said Fred Elsberry of the Better Business Bureau. "You know, most people have caught on that anybody who wants me to wire money is probably a scam."

A FOX 5 viewer didn't want to go on camera but called to pass along her story.  She got tangled in a scheme that involved her Green Dot Money Pak card, someone she thought was from Comcast and a special promotion.  The caller said she could "upgrade her cable box" or put her in a drawing to win a Kindle.  But to do it, she needed to pay her bill right that second with her Green Dot card.  She paid $100, handing it over to strangers who did not work for anybody but themselves.  She never got the upgrade. She got scammed.

Elsberry suggests this if anyone calls you with a similar offer, you tell them to give you their number and call them back.  He says never, ever respond to a special offer from a stranger who rings you up or even drops by your home.  Do this instead:  Pick up the phone, call your utility and ask if they even have this special promotion.   And if you do want to make an online or telephone purchase with your Green Dot card, take the money from your card and put it into a Paypal account.  It's a more secure, online way, to send money.

This phone phishing scam became even more costly to our viewer when her cable was cut off. She thought she had paid her bill, so she didn't send in a payment.  She found out when her service got disconnected.

COMCAST POSTED THE FOLLOWING WARNING ON THEIR WEBSITE.

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