Burke Woman Bitten By Green Dot Card Scam

A 70-year-old Burke-area woman answered her phone this week and was told she’d won $3.5 million and a brand new Mercedes. But there was a catch.

The caller instructed her to purchase Green Dot payment cards and provide him with the account numbers. The woman purchased $13,000 worth of the Green Dot cards and provided the numbers to him along with her social security number, date of birth and other private information as instructed.

By the time a relative discovered what had happened, it was too late and the victim lost much of her money.

The Green Dot cards are pre-paid, loadable cards similar to other brands of credit and debit cards. Detectives caution that these scams are not isolated to any particular financial institution.

This is another in a series of scams Financial Crimes Unit detectives are seeing in Fairfax County and across the region. Unfortunately, as with many of these scams, once money is wired or sent away, there is very little that can be done to recover the funds.

Detectives are committed to providing education and information on some of these schemes and ruses to the public. To learn more, or to report an incident, visit the FCPD’s Financial Crime Online Reporting site. Since the online site went live in October 2011, over 1,200 crimes have been reported.

To request a group presentation on the topic of schemes or financial crimes contact Lucy Caldwell at 703-246-3271.