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SHERIDAN — The Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a Sheridan citizen was the victim of a money scam that involved a Green Dot money card this week. The incident has caused the agency to issue a public warning that scammers are on the prowl, and are targeting people in Sheridan.
According to a press release from the SCSO, the citizen received multiple calls from a non-local phone number. The subject had a foreign accent and offered to loan the person money. The person was instructed to purchase a Green Dot refillable debit card — which can be purchased with cash without identification — and turn over the card’s number so the loan could be applied to the card. The agreement was that after processing fees were taken off of the card, the loan would be applied. However, the card was simply depleted and no money was ever put back on the card. Though Green Dot is a legitimate company, it appears the cards are being used by a third party with dishonorable intentions. The cards are secure as long as the numbers on the card are not compromised.
The SCSO’s tips to avoid money scams include:
• Never give out personal financial information over the phone or email, especially to unsolicited contacts. Information that should be protected includes credit or debit card numbers, bank account numbers, access pin codes to cards or accounts and identifying information, including birth dates and corresponding Social Security numbers.
• Don’t believe promises of easy money. Sometimes scammers tell their victims they’ve won a lottery even though they never purchased a ticket or promise inheritances from displaced international aristocrats. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
• Be suspicious of callers who push to be paid immediately, no matter what reason they give.
If a call from an unknown person involves a quick solicitation for money, best practice entails taking a step back to verify the credentials of the entity requesting money. A reputable business entity should be happy to allow you to call them back after verifying their legitimacy via the Chamber of Commerce, police department or other authoritative agency.