12 NEWS DEFENDERS: Green Dot Money Scams - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

12 NEWS DEFENDERS: Green Dot Money Scams

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Trista Townsend thought luck had finally come her way.

"I received a call saying that I was selected for a U.S. government grant," Townsend said.

A caller told the single mom she only needed to send $150 on a Green Dot money card to collect a $7,000 grant.

"So, we talked for two days about the situation. I kept asking is this scam?" Townsend said.

Her intuition was right -- it was a scam. Once she sent the $150, they wanted more money.

"They was supposed to give me the money reference number then they was like ‘are you ready for the reference number?' I was like ‘yea.' They was like ‘well in order to get this number activated you have to send 250 more dollars,'" Townsend said.

Townsend wised up and contacted authorities, but it was too late. She was already out $150.

Authorities informed her there was nothing they could do. The money couldn't be tracked. That's why scammers use Green Dot money cards. They only need the numbers on the back to take your money.

"It's hard being a single parent and trying to make it. You know bills and for somebody to try and take your money. That's a really hard break," Townsend said. "They just really got me. I hate for anybody else to go through what I went through."

The pitch for these Green Dot scams isn't always the same. Another Green Dot scam going around involves the Montgomery Police Department. The department just issued a warning.

There are scammers posing as police officers. They claim you owe a fine. Either you pay up with a Green Dot card or go to jail. Remember, police won't call you to collect a fine.

Monica Sheeler serves as the chief of Consumer Protection for the Alabama Attorney General's Office. She warns there are several scams going around right now.

"It's so easy to steal money that way and it's virtually untraceable once the money is picked up, it's gone," Sheeler said.

She advises -- if you don't recognize the number don't answer the phone.

Sheeler's biggest piece of advice: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Green Dot offers these tips to protect your money:

  • Never give your MoneyPak number to someone you don't know
  • Refuse any offer that asks you to buy a card and share the number or receipt information by email or phone
  • Don't email your card number directly to any merchant
  • Check the list of approved partners before you use your GreenDot MoneyPak to pay
Read more about these scams on the Federal Trade Commission website.

If you think you have been a victim, contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Office's hotline at 1-800-392-5658 or 334-242-7335 or file a consumer complaint online.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Man killed in random knife attack at California steakhouse

    Man killed in random knife attack at California steakhouse

    Saturday, April 21 2018 5:44 AM EDT2018-04-21 09:44:08 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:18 PM EDT2018-04-23 00:18:33 GMT
    (Ventura County District Attorney's Office via AP). This undated photo provided by the Ventura County District Attorney's Office shows Jamal Jackson. The homeless man has been charged with murder in a random stabbing attack in which a man was killed wh...(Ventura County District Attorney's Office via AP). This undated photo provided by the Ventura County District Attorney's Office shows Jamal Jackson. The homeless man has been charged with murder in a random stabbing attack in which a man was killed wh...

    A homeless man has been charged with murder in the death of a California father who was stabbed in the neck as his 5-year-old daughter sat in his lap in a crowded beachside steakhouse.

    More >>

    A homeless man has been charged with murder in the death of a California father who was stabbed in the neck as his 5-year-old daughter sat in his lap in a crowded beachside steakhouse.

    More >>
  • Syracuse fraternity permanently expelled over racist video

    Syracuse fraternity permanently expelled over racist video

    Saturday, April 21 2018 5:46 PM EDT2018-04-21 21:46:07 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:18 PM EDT2018-04-23 00:18:20 GMT
    Syracuse University permanently expels fraternity for "extremely racist" video. (Source: WSYR/CNN)Syracuse University permanently expels fraternity for "extremely racist" video. (Source: WSYR/CNN)

    Syracuse University has permanently expelled a fraternity over an offensive video that fraternity members say was intended as satire.

    More >>

    Syracuse University has permanently expelled a fraternity over an offensive video that fraternity members say was intended as satire.

    More >>
  • 4 dead in Waffle House shooting in Tennessee; suspect sought

    4 dead in Waffle House shooting in Tennessee; suspect sought

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:34:45 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:16 PM EDT2018-04-23 00:16:44 GMT
    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)
    Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly