smartconsumer: Watching Out for Pre-paid Card Scams - Know

Watching Out for Pre-paid Card Scams

{What to Know} {What to Do}


A prepaid card is a plastic card that you can use to pay for things. You buy a card with money “loaded” on it. Then you can use the card to spend up to that amount. Once you spend the money on the card, you do not owe a bill, since you are using money you already have.

A prepaid card is also called a prepaid debit card, or a stored-value card. You can buy prepaid cards at many local stores and online.  Shop carefully for your prepaid card.  Many come with fees and charges that will be deducted from the amount of money you can spend. 

Scammers are using prepaid cards as a new way to steal your money. They may call or email you and tell you that to win a prize or pay an overdue bill, you have to go buy a prepaid card. The scammer will tell you how much money to put on the card. Then the scammer will ask you for the serial number on the back of the card. This number allows the scammer to transfer the money from your card onto one of his cards.

Why scammers use prepaid cards

  • Prepaid cards are hard to trace

  • No photo identification is needed to collect or spend money loaded on a prepaid card

  • One card can be loaded with thousands of dollars

  • Transactions are quick

Content Last Modified on 2/21/2013 12:03:24 PM