Note: The following information is based on an initial review of incident reports and should not be considered a comprehensive list of all incidents reported to us. The blog reports do not include sex crimes, domestic abuse, reporting of juveniles, medical reports, and other sensitive police reports.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Scam Alert

    The Brookline Police Department would like to warn Brookline residents about several recent telephone scam which appear to be targeting Brookline residents.

    • The first Scam is the IRS Green Dot Money Pack Scam.  Green Dot Money Pak Cards themselves are legitimate products when used for the intended purpose,  The intended use allows consumers to reload MoneyPaks to other pre paid cards, add money to a Pay Pal account without using a bank account, or to make same day payments to major companies.  Because the cards can be bought with cash, consumers never need to disclose their personal or financial information to a retail cashier or to make a payment.

    • The traditional wire transfer scam involves crooks asking for funds to be directly wires to them, but the Money-Pak scam has the added benefit of the crooks not having to show up at an office to claim the money.  Anyone with the 14 digit number found on the back of the Green Dot Money Pak Card can drain the card of funds.

    • The scam works in many ways including phone calls to residents implying that the resident is behind on a bill or owes money for back taxes.  The person calling identifies themselves as being from the IRS or a Utility Company.  The person posing as an IRS Agents demands money for back taxes and threatens to have the person arrested or deported.  The scammers then agree to accept payment for the back taxes by directing the victim to a nearby store that sells Green Dot Money-Pak Cards.  The victim is told to purchase a Green Dot Money Pak card in the amount of the back taxes.  Once the card is purchased they tell the victim to give them the 14 digit code on the back of the Green Dot Money Pak Card.  Once the scammers have the 14 digit code they can obtain all of the money that has been put onto the Green Dot Money Pak card.

    • The second Scam that we have recently been seeing involving Brookline residents is the Traffic Accident Scam.  In this case a victim receives a call from someone claiming that one of their relatives has been involved in a serious traffic accident causing considerable damage.  The caller claims that the damage exceeds $6,000.00.  The caller claims that they are holding the relative and demand payment for the traffic accident damage.  They request that the victim go to a nearby Western Office and wire money to a location to cover the cost of the accident.  The victim is then told to simply give the caller the number on the Western Union Money Gram.  When the scammer has the number for the Western Union Money Gram he can usually go to any Western Union Office and get the funds.

    • We believe that most of these scams are originating outside of the United States.

    The scammers appear at this time to be targeting immigrants or elderly people who are usually to frightened to call the police until it is to late.

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