New Moneypak Scam Involving Impersonating Real Police Officers
It seems Moneypak scammers are not letting up with trying to scam innocent people out of their money. Moneypak cards are used widely by scammers in the past even causing Green Dot to discontinue their Moneypak product. Everything from the FBI Moneypak virus scam, the Moneypak flipping scam, and even convincing unaware vulnerable individuals to purchase products/services with Moneypak are not new.
This new Moneypak scam, however, adds a twist to the traditional phone scam where the fraudster impersonates a law enforcement officer. These criminals use legitimate police officers and federal judges name to commit the crime. Tonya Granger, a would-be victim of the scam, stated “I’m not gullible. I’m pretty educated. But these guys were very good. They started with a phone call saying I had missed my federal jury duty summons,”. When Granger replied to the impersonators with “this sounds like a scam”, the fraudster responded, “I assure you it’s not”.
If you are a skeptical person one of the first things you would do is check the information that was given to you, just to see if it held any weight of truth to it. But ah, the impersonator used a real website and gave real information and even went as far as spoofing the phone number of the U.S District Court. So when the victim checks all the information, it checks out. The fraudster tells the victim that they missed jury duty or some other legal requirement that went unfulfilled and as a result, they had to pay a fine, in this case, $980.
The fraudster would continue to tell the victim to load the funds on a reload pack and proceed to give them the validation codes over the phone.
Granger reported “He said, ‘you have to get the card that says MoneyPak. The Pak is for pay at a kiosk and that’s what the U.S. Marshal’s accept,'”.
Before things got any stranger Granger went to the Marshalls office herself with the thought of being thrown in jail, but when she handed the phone to the Marshalls the fraudster realized his cover was about to be blown and hung up.
Gary Blankinship a member of the U.S Marshalls office said “The investigative sides of these cases are very hard because many times they lead to foreign countries where we might not have jurisdiction or extradition agreements,”
“The U.S. government doesn’t take gift cards,” FBI spokesperson Shauna Dunlap said.