PARKER, Colo. - Several Parker residents and businesses have fallen victim to pre-paid card scams and police are warning about three variations of the con.
The rip-offs all have one thing in common: the victim is asked to pay a fee using a pre-paid credit card, like the Green Dot MoneyPak card. Those cards can be purchased at a variety of local stores and require a value to be stored on the card. If the scammer gets a card's number from the victim, it is the same as cash and cannot be recovered.
According to Parker Police, the three variations of the scam have been reported since Nov. 30.
In the first variation, the scammer claims to represent a utility company. They threaten to immediately disconnect services unless a past due bill is paid through one of the pre-paid cards. The victim is instructed to purchase the card then call the scammer back to provide the card's 14-digit serial number.
Police say the other variations on the scam story involve the caller saying they are collecting back taxes for the IRS or a loan fees for a bank. In the IRS scam, the caller may also threaten that immediate payment is required to prevent eviction or seizures by the government.
Anyone who gets the serial number of a MoneyPak card can drain the card of money, meaning the scammers never need to physically possess the card.
Utility companies and government agencies will never demand immediate payment by MoneyPak.