Top 10 Ways to Prevent Fraud
Top 10 Ways to Prevent Fraud
- Never give your PIN nor your prepaid account number to someone you do not know or trust.
- Never give receipt information about your purchase to another party.
- Refuse any offer asking to buy your prepaid card and share the number or receipt information by email or phone.
- Use your Vanilla Reload only to add funds to your prepaid cards or accounts you control.
- Don’t use card to pay taxes or fees to claim “winnings” on a foreign lottery or prize promotion.
- Do not use your prepaid card for any offer requiring you to pay before you get the item unless it’s an approved Vanilla partner.
- To use your prepaid card with PayPal or any other online merchants, transfer the money to your PayPal account before you pay the merchant. Don’t email your card number directly to any merchant.
- Be aware of your surroundings. If the person behind you is crowding you, this is an indication they want to see your card and PIN. Ask them to give you some room. When entering your PIN, use your other hand to shield the keyboard.
- Be aware of your card's list of approved partners before you use your prepaid card to pay.
- Avoid applying for loans online and always request explanation of every fee you are charged. Do not pay a Good Faith Security or pay your fees via the purchase of a new prepaid card.
Advanced Payment Loan Scams
You’re told you are pre-approved to apply for a personal loan. The lender claims that in order to receive the full amount of the loan, you are required to make the first two payments as a sign of good faith. The lender asks you load funds to your prepaid card and give them the number. They will, in turn, apply the remainder of your loan to the same card number. Unfortunately, the loan never comes through and the lender cannot be traced.
Grant Fraud Scams
You receive a letter, email, or phone call claiming you were selected to receive a large grant from a company as part of a corporate grant program or assistance plan. Additionally, you receive a check for an amount between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. The instructions are to give your prepaid card number to the source of the grant program and then deposit the check, which represents the commission you need to pay, to your prepaid card. Once you deposit that check, the grant program will apply the remainder of your grant money to your prepaid card using the numbers your sent. However, the check is invalid (FAKE) but by the time you realize it, you’ve already revealed your card number and lost your money.
You receive a letter, email, or phone call from someone claiming to be a law enforcement officer, a government employee, or even a relative. They claim to need money for a cause or they are stranded and the best way to help is by loading a prepaid card and giving them the number. Report any communication from someone who wants you to fund a card that you do not control.
Additional Consumer Scams
Visit USA.gov to learn about additional consumer scams.