Have you recently heard or maybe seen pictures on Instagram, about the ability to use prepaid cards to make boatloads of money in just a few hours? Many people are toting the ability these cards hold to become wealthy in just a few hours, days, or weeks. They say it takes next to no effort, and you literally can bring in enough money to make all of your financial worries a thing of the past. The problem is, this is all a scam and consumers need to keep themselves very aware of the innate dangers that can come from a scam like this.
What the Scam Entails
This scam focuses on people who are desperate to get any money they can get their hands on, since those people are less apt to ask too many questions. What happens is, the scammer claims to work at some type of retailer where they have access to the loading process for prepaid credit cards. They claim that if you give them a certain amount of cash, they will ‘accidentally’ add an extra zero to the end of any deposit that you put on the cards. For example, if you put $300 on your card in the form of a cash deposit, if you pay the scammers their fee, they will make your deposit appear to be $3,000.
The problem is that most of these prepaid cards are not able to be traced, so when you call the phone number attached to the scam and they request the numbers for the card, it is already too late. They tell you they need the numbers from the card to perform their magic with the deposit, but instead, the scammers take the deposited amount of money and put it into their own personal accounts, leaving you with nothing in the end. They take every penny off of your card, plus they run with the fee they told you that you had to pay for the transaction, and you are left in a worse place than you started off.
What Cards Are Affected?
This type of scam is often called a ‘Green Dot Money Card’ scam due to the fact that the majority of cards have a green dot on the back. This is a way that retailers can tell the difference between a prepaid card and a standard card when it comes to recurring payments. However, it is not only green dot cards that are affected by this scam. People have been finding the same problem with cards like Vanilla, NetSpend, and MoneyPak cards as well, but the scam does not have to stop there.
This scam can also have a secondary component that requires the involvement of money transferring companies like Western Union and MoneyGram. The scammer will sometimes tell the person that the deposit did not work on that particular card, so they need to send the same amount again through the specifically chosen transfer company, but once they see that you had the right amount of money to send, they promise to send you back the initial investments plus more as a way of making right the problems with the card. What you will end up with once the transaction is complete is no money and a worse situation than you were before this entire process began.
Where to Turn When You Need Cash
If you find yourself in need of some cash, there are better routes to consider than looking for the ‘easy way out’, which in a case like this, could be dangerous. You may want to consider more traditional methods, such as asking those close to you for a small loan, looking into personal loans or payday loans, or finding extra work. Most of the time, when scams are able to be avoided altogether, consumers end up much safer in the long run. While the traditional methods may take you a little bit longer to get out of debt, they will keep your financial information much safer and not get you in any type of trouble.
Avoiding scams that go hand-in-hand with prepaid credit cards is a good bet. You do not want to risk someone getting a hold of any of your financial information, nor do you want to do something that could be illegal. Whether you knew the activity was illegal or not is no excuse when it comes to the law, so avoidance is a must if you want to protect yourself.