Police are urging the public to beware one of the latest scams that is growing in Queens, and throughout the city.
Frequently referred to as the “green dot money scam,” the crime often involves con artists, who claim to be from companies like Con Edison, making phone calls to residents and threatening people with service disruptions if they do not send funds immediately via a “Green Dot MoneyPak.”
The scam is not only limited to utility companies, police stressed: The unsolicited calls could be from anyone demanding money.
Last week, NYPD Inspector James Klein penned a letter to owners of businesses where the green dot cards are sold, asking for their cooperation in combating the crime that he noted often targets elderly and immigrant communities.
“This scam has netted criminals thousands and thousands of dollars, negatively impacting those who can least afford it,” Klein wrote.
In the letter, the officer asked owners to display a flyer in their store – particularly near the green dot cards – about the scam.
“Criminals are very convincing in this enterprise, and some of the victims just need to stop and think before they actually go through with buying a card,” Klein wrote. “If you notice someone who looks ill at ease and is asking to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak card, please hand them on of the Police Department’s handouts and ask them to read it.”
For more information, contact a local police precinct’s crime prevention officer.