Pre-loaded debit card scam warning

The U.S. Postal Inspector in Philadelphia urges consumers to be aware of a new debt collection scam circulating in the mid-state region. The mail, phone, and internet scam falsely advises victims that they are obligated to pay an outstanding loan balance or face arrest.

As part of the scam, victims receive documents purported to be issued by the federal U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, indicating an amount of money owed. The amount owed and the court documents are fraudulent. Victims are instructed by the scammer’s to make payment immediately through a pre-loaded debit card.

Identifying characteristics of the scam are:

* Scammers request code numbers associated with the pre-paid debit cards

* Scammers may be able to recite a victim’s date of birth and social security number

* Scammers spoof law enforcement telephone numbers to make it appear as if a legitimate arrest warrant has been issued.

Consumers are asked to report if they have been victimized, or an attempt was made to victimize them, to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Harrisburg office at (717) 257-2330.

Additional information on debt collection and other fraud schemes can be found at ftc.gov or postalinspectors.uspis.gov