HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu Police are seeing more elderly victims sending scammers money via Green Dot Cards.
The cards are legitimate. They are prepaid credit cards that can be bought at most major stores. They don't require credit checks and can be activated quickly. All those features make them attractive to scammers.
Honolulu Police's Financial Crimes Detail is seeing more cases of elderly people sending money using the cards.
The caller tells the victim they've won a large amount of money and a luxury item but before the prize can be delivered, the victim needs to send money. The scammers used to ask for wire transfers but now, they tell the victim to buy a Green Dot Card.
Anywhere from $100 to $500 is loaded onto each card. The victim then calls the person back and gives them the 16-digit number on the card.
"Once you give them that number... The card is worthless," says Lieutenant John McCarthy.
McCarthy says law enforcement can't track the money after that.
"It eliminates the human factor," he says.
Police are hoping store clerks will call them if they see an elderly person buying multiple cards and loading them.
"We want them to ask questions," McCarthy says. He hopes that can stop the transaction before it happens.