MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –The Carver County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public of scams involving prepaid cards.

Sheriff Jim Olson says scammers are tricking people into using Green Dot MoneyPak cards to pay shipping fees for phony rewards; to pay off nonexistent fines; to pay past-due utility bills with the threat of service disruption; to pay for computer virus removal and to seek money to pay a relative’s bail.

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Green Dot MoneyPak cards are reloadable debit cards that can be used to add funds to other prepaid cards and to make same-day payments.

The scammers tell the victims to buy a MoneyPak card and load it with a specific amount of money. Then they ask for the 14-digit number on the card, which allows them to transfer the victim’s money into their own accounts.

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Transactions made this way are untraceable.

The sheriff says never give MoneyPak numbers to someone they don’t know; avoid offers where a credit card payment is not accepted; avoid sites or Craigslist ads where you’re asked to pay by MoneyPak; and know that any time you are told you’ve won a prize or a sweepstakes and you’re asked to pay a fee in order to collect it – it’s a scam.

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Call the Carver County Sheriff’s Office at 952-361-1231 to report scams.