RED BANK: COPS WARN OF PHONE SCAM

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014The Red Bank Police Department issued this notice early Wednesday afternoon:

WARNING: GREEN DOT PHONE SCAM

In the recent weeks, Red Bank Police Department has received a large number of reports from victims of a telephone fraud operation. These frauds have been documented on the news and are occurring throughout the nation.

In the scam, the victim is contacted by a person representing themselves as an employee of a business. In many of the scams, the callers have been identifying themselves as representatives of JCP&L (power company) however other business names and agencies have been used as well. The caller tells the person that they are late on paying their power bill and their power will be shut off if they do not pay immediately. The caller then directs the victim to purchase Green Dot MoneyPak cards.

Green Dot MoneyPak cards are prepaid cards that can be used to transfer money between parties electronically. The victim is directed to put money on these cards and the money is transferred to the caller.

Please be aware that this is an example of a fraud. The Red Bank Police Department would like to warn the public that they SHOULD NOT respond to any calls regarding overdue payments to JCP&L by paying with Green Dot MoneyPak cards. JCP&L officially states that Green Dot MoneyPak is NOT an accepted method to pay your power bill and therefore no representative of their business would ask you to pay a bill through Green Dot.

 The public is also advised not to use their caller ID to confirm that the caller is from JCP&L. The offenders in these fraud cases are able to disguise their phone number so that it appears on your caller ID as the number of JCP&L.

Green Dot is a legitimate company and their MoneyPak cards are frequently used to transfer money for lawful purposes. This warning is not intended to warn people against using Green Dot services when transferring money to another party who they know to be legitimate. However, the method that is used when transferring money between parties on these cards make them convenient for criminals to use when committing frauds.

The public is advised to use due caution and consideration when contacted by any unknown person instructing them to transfer money to them using Green Dot MoneyPak cards. A good practice is to locate a number for the business the caller says that they represent online or in the phone book and to then call that business to see if they actually are trying to collect money from you via Green Dot.

Cases of fraud occurring may be reported to the Red Bank Police Department at any time by visiting the police station at 90 Monmouth Street or calling (732) 530-2700.