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The original item was published from 1/20/2012 10:27:00 AM to 2/2/2012 12:10:00 AM.

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Posted on: January 13, 2012

[ARCHIVED] Residents Alerted to Beware of Pre-Paid Credit/Debit Card Scams

The Elgin Police Department is again alerting the community to be aware of a scam that requires residents to purchase a pre-paid credit or debit card before they can receive prize money.

“Residents receive a telephone call informing them that they have won a million dollars or more along with a new car,” said Elgin Crime Prevention Officer Cherie Aschenbrenner. “To claim the prize, they must first purchase a specific pre-paid credit or debit card and ensure a certain amount of money is on that card – usually about $150 to $350.”

Aschenbrenner said that the scammer will then call a resident back asking for the card’s 14-digit code to ensure the prize money can be added to that card.

“It’s at that point the scammer can steal the money from that card,” said Aschenbrenner. “Sometimes the scammer will have you call them and tell you that he is coming over with your prize money only to never show. The scammer’s instructions may vary but one thing is for sure…once you give out your card’s code, the money will be gone.”

Aschenbrenner said that pre-paid credit or debit cards can easily be purchased at local grocery stores with money added to the card by a store’s cashier.

“It costs money to activate a card, so the purchaser is out that money too,” said Aschenbrenner. “And unfortunately, many of these scammers target the elderly. So it’s important to share this information with them.”

For more information, contact Aschenbrenner at (847) 289-2626.

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