Better Business Bureau logo.

Image via Wikipedia

If you don’t have a debit card, it’s easy to get one. The reloadable cards are sold at local grocers, and the Better Business Bureau says they’re the latest target of scammers.

A Northeast Ohio man received a call from a scammer earlier this year, and was asked to go to the store and put money on one of these debit cards. The elderly man gave the number on the back of the card so the reward could be loaded onto the card. Only, the scammers took all the money the elderly man put on the card and never gave him a dime.

Of course, you won’t win the lottery if you don’t play and nobody is going to call you up and offer you money, but the Better Business Bureau says more consumers are falling for these debit card scams.

The BBB calls it a Green Dot MoneyPak warning because the BBB says the Money Pak reloadable debit cards are typically used in the scheme. MoneyPak is a way to add money to an account like PayPal without a bank account. You can also use the card to pay bills with major companies.

 The MoneyPak scheme can take place over the phone or Internet. The BBB warns that any companies asking for payment with MoneyPak is likely a scam. Click here for a list of approved MoneyPak partners.

The BBB says the scam takes many forms, but they’ve received reports of payment of advance fees for bogus loans, upfront cash to claim prize winnings, and online purchases of heavily discounted exercise equipment.

Use caution whether you’re asked for a MoneyPak or asked to wire money to someone you don’t know. You will never be asked to pay upfront fees to claim a prize, and you can’t win a prize if you didn’t enter a sweepstakes. Always use a credit card when possible. It will offer you the most protection if you don’t get what you paid for.

Green Dot reminds consumers that MoneyPak acts just like cash, and should only be used to reload prepaid cards for online accounts you control. Don’t give the information to someone you don’t know.

Related links you may like:
Keeping your name off a sucker list
10 consumer reports you should check every year
Checking your credit report
Getting rid of junk mail