Lower Saucon Township Police are warning residents to be alert to a new type of telephone scam, which they say targets older residents in more affluent areas.
A township woman was the attempted victim of the scam May 10, police said in a press release.
Typically, police said, the "nationwide" scam works in this way:
- The intended victim receives a call from an (876) area code, which is actually from Kingston, Jamaica.
- An "aggressive" caller tries to trick the targeted person into buying a Green Dot Money Pak prepaid debit card that can be personalized in any amount on a Visa or Mastercard at stores including CVS, Walgreens and Walmart.
- Once the victim buys the card, the caller asks him to scratch off PIN numbers on the back, which the scammer can then use to drain the card of any value.
"The victim is left with a piece of plastic," police said, adding that scam artists typically use either coercion—i.e., threatening to come to the home—or the promise of prize winnings to convince a targeted individual to buy the prepaid debit card.
Anyone who receives this type of call should report it to their local police department and not purchase the prepaid debit card as instructed to do, police added.