The Champaign Police Department is issuing a scam alert to the public due to an increase in telephone scam activity known as the Green Dot Verification Scam in our area.
Victims of the scam receive a telephone call from someone claiming to be a representative of law enforcement, the courts, or other government agency. The caller tells the victim that they have either missed jury duty, owe back taxes, or have a past due utility or cell
phone bill and are required to pay a fine or face jail time. The victim is told that the fine must be paid by using a Green Dot Money Pak card, which the victim must purchase and then send the funds to a specified bank account.
Other schemes involve a caller claiming to be the grandchild of the victim, who is requesting money for medical expenses or bail money after being arrested for a DUI related accident. In some cases, the caller claimed to be an attorney, who is calling on behalf of the grandchild. Again, the victim is directed to use a Green Dot Money Pak card to send money.
The popular Green Dot cards are used to transfer cash into prepaid debit cards or to directly pay the bills of certain participating companies. These types of transactions cannot be traced.
The Champaign Police Department advises the public that no law enforcement agency or reputable business will contact a person and direct them to quick wire monies to a bank account.
A simple telephone call to the law enforcement agency will verify whether the intended communication is authentic or if you’re the target of fraud.
The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has also issued this national press release regarding these scams.
If you believe that you are the victim of a scam, please contact the Champaign Police Department at (217) 351-4545.