Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is warning consumers of an emerging fraud trend involving online sales and reloadable debit cards, like the Green Dot MoneyPak.
For years, online crooks have been duping victims into wiring money through the Western Union or MoneyGram, but Swanson's office says they are increasingly turning to prepaid debit cards.
Officials say the problems usually begin with online purchases from an unknown website. Sellers urge customers to purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak, load it with the amount owed, and give the 14-digit serial number to the seller. Once the payment is received, the buyer rarely hears from the seller again.
The Green Dot MoneyPak card, and others like it, function as a traditional debit card associated with a checking account, just without the check. It can be loaded with cash inside many major retail stores, like Walmart.
Have you ever used a reloadable debit card for an online purchase that never came? If so, Iris Perez would like to interview you about the experience. Send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.