Consumers in Middle Tennessee are surprised and delighted to receive a letter congratulating them on being selected to receive a $10,000 Cash Grant from the GreenDot Assistance Plan. [see example below]
The letter contains a check for $960.55 described as 'the first smaller payment, your larger payment for the remainder will follow'. The consumer is give an explanation as to why they were chosen for a Cash Grant stating, "every year large corporations and wealthy individuals give away billions to charities and individuals in need in the form of financial assistance donations and grants. The GreenDot Assistance Plan have connections with many of these corporations. From your financial history, it looked like you were someone who could use a little financial aid,...a grant is not a loan because a grant NEVER has to be repaid."
"Your other check is waiting in our office. To receive your other larger payment of $9,040 you must return to me a 4.03% commission on the total amount to be received $403 after you've cashed or deposited the enclosed check. The next larger check will be all yours!"
Consumers are instructed to deposit or cash the $906.55 check & given explicit instructions as to how the 4.03% ($403.00) commission is to be paid:
"OBTAIN A GREENDOT MONEYPAK from any of our affiliated retailers including Rite Aid, Wall-Mart, Walgreen's CVS and load the card for $403.00 and fax or email the 14-digit activation number to the GREENDOT corporate office."
Only AFTER a MoneyPak activation number is provided, does the unsuspecting consumer learn that the grant offer is a scam, the deposited/cash check is counterfeit and the GREENDOT ASSISTANCE PLAN is fraudulent and not associated with GREENDOT MoneyPaks.
The MoneyPaks, sold in stores across the United States, are reloadable debit cards normally used to make same-day payments or add money to prepaid cards or PayPal accounts. Operators of phony websites, scam grant offers and others are using the cards to cheat customers in much of the same way they have used untraceable MoneyGram and Western Union wire transfers to defraud consumers in recent years.
If you purchase a MoneyPak guard the number 'like cash' and give it only to a trusted recipient.
For more information from BBB on common scams visit www.Nashville.BBB.org.
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The BBB of Middle Tennessee, Inc. was founded in 1961 as a non-profit Tennessee organization serving 38 counties in Middle Tennessee and 7 counties in Southern Kentucky. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada.
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