Utah authorities warning residents of spike in pre-paid money card phone scams

Posted at 1:28 PM, Aug 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-08 19:11:47-04

SALT LAKE CITY - The Salt Lake City Police Department has a warning for Utah residents.

The department said it has seen a spike in fraudulent scams involving pre-paid money cards; as many as six per day are being reported in Salt Lake City.

In this scam, you could receive a phone call from a criminal posing as an agency you trust.

“They could be the IRS, federal government, local government,” Salt Lake City Det. Dennis McGowan said. “Could be the court system, someone saying you owe money because of a traffic ticket or a warrant or it could be some utility company; anything where you`re going to be in a position to pay for because there`s a debt.”

The caller usually says you owe money and it must be paid with a prepaid money card.

Det. McGowan said the victim is instructed to load cash on a card, like a Money Pak/Green Dot card, to clear a debt.

Once the victim supplies the security code on the card, the suspect withdraws the money remotely and there is no way to get it back.

Officials said the scammers aren’t traceable so they don’t know if the alleged crooks are local or not.

Click here for more of today's top stories from Fox 13 Now.