'Green Dot' money scam claims local victim

Posted at: 01/16/2014 5:35 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Earlier this week, we warned you about the fastest-growing phone scam in New Mexico – the “Green Dot” money card scam. Now it’s time for a victim’s story.

Call her Jane.

She’s smart – an APS employee – a single mom with 4 boys and a $700 overdue PNM electric bill, thanks to an ex who’s late with the child support. Jane got a phone call early in the morning on Dec. 26.

“It was somebody from PNM,” Jane said. “If I didn’t pay my bill within the hour they were going to come and shut off my service and it was the day after Christmas.”

It wasn’t PNM, and Jane didn’t want her power shut off, which PNM was already threatening to do. So she paid attention.

“I was told I had to go and put money on a Walmart Moneypak card and then I had to call them back with the number,” Jane said.

Moneypak – that’s the Green Dot money card available at Walmart and many other stores. You put money on it – in Jane’s case the total was $700. Each card has a number and once you give that number to somebody else, they’ve got your money. They sure got Jane’s $700 – and it wasn’t PNM.

“I didn’t get Christmas presents for my boys,” Jane said. “I’m still behind now. I have to get this taken care of. My rent is past due.”

Jane said PNM is working with her on a payment plan, but she’s out $700. The Green Dot Moneypak card is quickly becoming the currency of choice for your friendly neighborhood scam artist. Don’t fall for it!