State News

September 18, 2013

FBI warns of scams

ATLANTA — Special Agent in Charge Mark F. Giuliano, FBI Atlanta Field Office, in an effort to provide an alert or warning to consumers, is providing the following details of an emerging scam that has been reported throughout the country and is now making an appearance in Georgia.

On Sept. 12 of this year, 10 retail stores in Savannah each received telephonic bomb threats. In each case, the caller asked to speak to the store manager, demanding that 10 Green Dot MoneyPak cards each be activated and loaded with $500 and that the card numbers be read aloud over the phone. The caller threatened to blow up the stores if the managers did not comply and also threatened the store employees’ homes and families. The managers of all of the stores described the caller as a male between 20 to 30 years of age and with a foreign accent. No manager complied with the demands and no explosive devices were found.

Subsequent investigation has determined that these calls mirrored a number of similar telephonic threats made to various drug stores and retail outlets nationwide. One such call placed to a discount department store in Snellville was identified as an overseas Voice Over IP (VOIP) telephone number. To date, no explosive devices have been found anywhere in the country linked to this type of threat.

While the above incidents involved bomb threats, the types of threats vary. Green Dot MoneyPak cards are reloadable and available at most retail outlets throughout the country and, like money wire transfers, are just as untraceable. These cards are not associated with any bank, meaning that the money is in the card. Users of these Green Dot MoneyPak cards are reminded to never give anyone those numbers associated with those cards in that doing so gives them instant access to the money on those cards.

Anyone with information regarding this type of emerging scam can provide a report or complaint to the FBI at www.IC3.gov.

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