We know that scammers consistently target citizens through email, text messages, phone calls, social media, and standard mail but our senior population is even more vulnerable to falling victim.
Scammers will say anything to get money and they like gift cards because, once they have the code on the back, the money is gone and almost impossible to trace. However, knowing how these scams work can help businesses to spot potential scams and prevent a citizen from becoming a victim.
Detectives with the San Angelo Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division are asking local businesses to train their employees to contact the police if they suspect that a victim is in danger of financial loss by prepaid gift card scams.
If you encounter a customer who is attempting to follow through with placing large amounts of money on prepaid cards, please contact police dispatch immediately at (325) 657-4315. Officers are allowed to act under a “Care Taking” function and may be able to speak with the victim and verify if the situation is legitimate or a scam.
In addition, if employees encounter a customer attempting to place money on a prepaid card(s) with multiple credit/debit cards that get declined, the cards are more than likely stolen. This is a common scheme to transfer money from stolen debit/credit cards to prepaid cards. When this happens, we strongly suggest that no employee attempt to intervene and engage the possible suspect. If this activity is observed, be a good witness and contact police to report suspicious activity.