The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs is warning you of a new payment method for scams.
SCDCA says while wire transfer is the most common method of payment requested by scammers, fraudsters are increasingly asking for payment via prepaid money card.
The agency says about 20 percent of scam reports in recent months involve the prepaid card request, which makes funds difficult to track.
If a consumer receives a call asking for payment via prepaid card, they should remember the following tips:
- When fielding cold calls, someone asking for payment via untraceable methods (wire transfer/ prepaid cards) is a red flag.
- Allowing a scammer access to the card’s serial number or the card is like giving them cash. There is no refund policy for prepaid cards.
- Aggressiveness and/or an inability to answer a consumer’s questions are indications that the call is fraudulent.
- Caller ID can be spoofed. Just because the caller’s phone number looks legitimate, does not mean that it is.
- Utility companies will not call a consumer to collect a late payment, but will mail notices before disconnecting service.
- Legitimate lotteries or sweepstakes do not require a consumer to pay a fee to collect a prize if they’ve actually won.