Telephone scammers are ringing up Marin County residents to inform them of supposed jury duty fines; red-light camera warrants; and, past due PG&E accounts that can be paid off with prepaid GreenDot MoneyPak cards.
The scammer claims to be a law enforcement official calling because of a failure to show for jury duty and an arrest warrant has been issued. In another scenario, the scammer claims to be with the County warrants department and an unpaid red-light camera violation has gone to warrant or the fine needs to be paid. The PG&E scam is similar in that the caller states there is a past-due balance and power will be disconnected immediately if no payment is received.
In each scenario, the caller is trying to have the victim purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak. Green Dot MoneyPak cards are reloadable, pre-paid credit cards that are available at most grocery, drug and convenience stores. The cards are a legitimate and convenient way for people without bank accounts to pay their bills, but anyone with the card number has access to the funds and the money is untraceable. When the victim purchases the card, the caller either calls back for the card number (to access funds) or the victim is instructed to call back with the card number.
No law enforcement agency or utility company contacts customers by phone for payment. In fact, PG&E doesn't accept payment over the phone. If you had an outstanding warrant or ticket, you would be notified by mail -- not by email and not by a phone call.
Any resident that receives this type of call should refuse the request and contact their local law enforcement agency.
PG&E customers with questions can call 1-800-743-5000
Marin County warrant search info: http://apps.marincounty.org/WarrantSearch#
Jury duty information from Marin County: https://www.marincourt.org/marinjury/JurorMarin.aspx
Please contact the Mill Valley Police Department at 415.389.4100 with any questions.