'Green Dot' money card scam now in New Mexico

Posted at: 01/13/2014 6:26 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A phone scam featuring the popular Green Dot money card is creeping into New Mexico, but there’s one South Valley man who has already proved he’s too shrewd to fall for it.

The Green Dot Moneypak card is available just about everywhere and it’s now the preferred currency for the basic American scam artist. Once they get your card number, your money is theirs – but they didn’t get Martin Cook’s money.

Like most guys who know how to hot-rod a 1937 Dodge pickup, Martin has been around the block a few times. But last week a slick-sounding lady calling on his cell phone almost convinced him he could get a federal grant worth $7,500.

“She was on my side,” Martin said while showing us the pickup he’s working on in his barn. “ You know – you’ve got the money coming – it’s tax free – I almost went for it, guys! I really did!”

But the lady scamster wanted martin to go to Walmart and put a $300 “application fee” on a Green Dot card and call her back with the card number – ASAP!

“I got to thinking about this,” Martin said. “I said this is a scam and I came this close to doing it, guys – I swear – and I know better.”

Martin’s cell phone trapped the lady’s number in the Washington DC area code, so we called her back. Sure enough, she thought our reporter was Martin Cook and she wanted him to go to Walmart and get that card and give her the number.

“Call me immediately,” she said. “Call me from the parking lot. It is urgent that you get the fee paid immediately.”

Well, it didn’t work on our reporter either. Like martin Cook, he’s been around the block a time or two.

“You get a phone call, it sounds too good to be true – it is too good to be true,” Martin said.

Green Dot cards are completely legal and they do work well for some people, especially those who don’t have a bank account. But they work well for scam artists too. Don’t fall for it!