A PUBLIC SERVICE MESSAGE FROM THE WHITE PLAINS POLICE DEPARTMENT
BEWARE – PRE PAID MONEY CARD SCAM
- Often directed at elderly persons, or local businesses.
- Callers allege to be from a legitimate company and that you owe money right away.
- Threaten to cut off service, have you arrested, or some other immediate penalty. Callers insist that you pay by Green Dot card, Walmart/Target gift card, ITunes card, or money gram, wire transfer, etc. primarily but may suggest other types of pre-paid cards.
- High pressure – insist you pay in a short period of time. They request you get the card and give them the number off the back of the card.
- Requests may also be made through phone or email.
- In general, NO LEGITIMATE COMPANY WOULD INSIST OR MANDATE THIS TYPE OF PAYMENT. If a company, utility service, etc., demand you purchase money cards and call them back with the money card serial number, IT IS ALMOST CERTAINLY A SCAM.
- Call the real company to verify whether you owe money and how payment may be received by them (Do not use number given by them, use a phone number from a bill, receipt, phone listing, etc.)
- Callers have purported to be from several business or government entities, including but not limited to the following:
Con Edison - Cablevision - White Plains (or other cities) Court - Water Department US Marshalls (or other law enforcement re: warrants for arrest) – IRS – (taxes overdue)
Other common scams
- Grandchild in jail – need bail money.
- Relative in car accident – many variations – threaten harm to the relative if money is not sent right away.
- FED EX email scam- “Package delayed” and info from you is requested by the caller. (Never give information to a caller)
- "Amazon” email scam. Request to verify info regarding a “delayed order”. May use various mail order company names. Never give your credit information.
- Unsolicited call regarding fixing your home computer. (Never allow an unsolicited caller to access your computer or give them any information).
- Stranger approaching you on street asking you to cash a lotto ticket. They may request that you give “good faith” money.
- Person/company sends you a check for “too much money” claim it to be an error. Asks you to cash check and send them the difference.
If you attempt to verify with the legitimate business, do not use the phone number the caller gives you. Independently ascertain a phone number and call to verify if you owe money.
NEVER GIVE ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION TO SOMEONE THAT CALLS YOU AND STATES THAT THEY NEED CERTAIN INFORMATION OR REQUESTS THAT YOU VERIFY ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION.
If you are suspicious or worried, contact the White Plains Police Dept. 914-422-6111 prior to sending any money to anyone. Please share with friends, neighbors and business partners.