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Cops: Watch out for the green dot

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Cops are warning Brooklynites: if somebody asks you for a “Green Dot,” that’s a red light.

The cash-card scams take many forms, according to Sgt. Raymond Morales of the NYPD’s Crime Prevention Unit, but the common thread is that the con artists ask for money to be placed on Green Dot MoneyPak cards.

“They may say that they’re with the utility company, or the IRS, or even the police,” said Morales.

The scammers call their marks — often seniors or immigrants — and say the person owes money — for unpaid bills, back taxes, compensation for damage done by a relative, or even to bail out a family member they claim has been arrested.

Morales described the sophistication of the latter scam, where the con artists sometimes manipulate their caller IDs to look like the local precinct is calling.

The scammers make various threats — to cut off power, or keep a loved one in jail overnight — unless the victim goes to a local bodega and buys a Green Dot MoneyPak card loaded with a specific amount of money. The con artists call back and tells the victim to scratch off the card to reveal its serial number and read it into the phone, which allows the crooks to take the money.

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Reader Feedback

John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Now, I'm not looking to cause any trouble here on the air like this, but I have to say that anyone who's done this clearly isn't/wasn't/will ever be the brightest bulb on the tree.
Pardon the interruption.
June 26, 2014, 5:33 pm
Denise Morales from Staten Island says:
Appalled at this Article as far as
Sergeant Morales. He was under
A criminal investigation in 2009
For money laundering. Their is no hope for nyc with this Nypd.
I am his wife and I have chosen to
Divorce him due to this. I have
Been trying since early 2010. All
I have been was threatened and abused
By the Nypd.
Jan. 4, 4:29 pm

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