If you receive a call about a purportedly overdue electrical, gas or tax bill, be wary. If a demand payment through a pre-paid money card follows, call police.
The pre-paid money card scam is on the rise in Salt Lake City, police say, noting they recently have been getting up to half-a-dozen complaints daily about such con jobs.
The Salt Lake City Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit reports the complaints have a common theme: callers claim they are collection agents representing utilities or government agencies.
To avoid trouble, they say, make payment for the bogus debt through Monkey Pak/Green Dot or other pre-paid money or debit cards.
The duped victim ends up supplying the fraudster with the card’s security code and the money is quickly withdrawn remotely. Once gone, there is no way to get the funds back, since the cards are not linked to a bank account or insured against fraud.
SLCPD warns that no reputable agency instructs or demands payment in such a manner. If you receive such a call, police say, first to hang up, then call the utility or purported agency direct, based on contact information provided in a telephone directory or perhaps a past official billing notice.
SLCPD has provided a video on the pre-paid card scam and other cons targeting the public on its website at http://slcpd.com/chiefs-message-march-2014-financial-crimes-scams/.
If you have information on such scams or other criminal activity, call SLCPD at 801-799-3000. To remain anonymous, text the keyword TIPSLCPD and your information to 274637.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.