BAYSIDE — Police in Bayside, and citywide, are advising neighbors to be alert and not become victims of telephone scams whose callers are tricking them into wiring money or buying money cards for them.
People fall prey to these scams involving Green Dot MoneyPak cards, receiving phone calls claiming they are collecting debts from either a utility company or the Internal Revenue Service.
Green Dot MoneyPak are pre-paid money cards.
Police at the 111th Precinct said utility companies like ConEdison or Verizon “will never ask you to buy a money card or complete a wire transfer to pay balances on your account.”
Authorities said the IRS does not ask taxpayers to pay balances with a money card or wire transfers either.
Police also said calls from people claiming to be foreign lawyers or doctors saying a loved one was arrested or injured and needs money transfers are scams.
Police also said that if a caller is asking for personal information, “hang up and call the company yourself using the telephone number in your bill.”
According to the NYPD Prevention Alert, some victims are receiving calls from fake IRS workers telling them they owe back taxes, “and if they do not make an immediate payment using a Green Dot MoneyPak card, they will be arrested or deported.”
As a precaution, the police offered several tips, including telling residents to be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payments for any reason; not to give unsolicited personal or financial information; and never transfer money or provide debit or credit card numbers to people one does not know.