Bronx, NY – Assemblyman Dinowitz, Chair of the New York State Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection, has been contacted by numerous constituents about several scams this holiday season, including ones that involve Green Dot MoneyPak cards. Scammers claiming to represent Con Edison and the IRS have called residents in the Northwest Bronx, including Assemblyman Dinowitz himself, threatening drastic action unless alleged debts are paid immediately. The scammers often demand payment using Green Dot MoneyPak cards, which are readily available in local pharmacies and other stores. At least one business in Riverdale has already been scammed this past week.
Assemblyman Dinowitz said, “Recently, many of my constituents received calls from scammers who threatened to shut off their electricity if they didn’t receive payments for alleged debts. Others, including myself, received calls from people claiming to represent the IRS about fictional tax liabilities. These fraudulent calls seem to be well-coordinated and widespread attempts to take advantage of individuals during the holiday season. I urge everyone to take extra precautions to protect themselves and loved ones from scams such as these.”
The 50th Police Precinct has previously issued a crime prevention alert regarding Green Dot MoneyPak cards. Their crime prevention tips include:
- Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
- Never give out personal or financial information to anyone who emails or calls you unsolicited.
- Never wire money, provide debit or credit card numbers or Green Dot MoneyPak card numbers to someone you do not know.
- Utility companies and government agencies will not contact you demanding immediate payment by MoneyPak.
The full alert can be seen here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/crime_prevention/greendot.pdf.