ROANOKE CITY (WSLS) - Roanoke City police said they are seeing an increase in a particular type of fraud case.
Figures show that compared to the first 6 months of 2013, the number of credit card fraud cases in 2014 rose by 7%. Police officers said the increase is partly due to over-the phone scams involving Green Dot cards.
"They'll call representing themselves as a legitimate company and say you are behind on your bill and request that you get a prepaid card"Sgt. J.C. Bolling , Roanoke City Police.
Bolling said criminals convince people to purchase Green Dot cards or similar pre-paid credit cards. Once a thief obtains the number, it's like cash in hand. In fact, criminals have stolen up to $1500 hundred dollars from victims in Roanoke City by pretending to be a utility company or other business.
Roanoke County police said fraud cases are down in the county compared to the same period last year. However, since March, officers received a flood of calls related to "Green Dot" scams. In this situation, criminals claim to be from a detention center and attempt to solicit bail money. Local police remind people to be suspicious of anyone seeking personal information over the phone.
"Don't call the number they give you" said Sgt. Bolling. "They have gone so elaborate in these schemes that they set up false numbers so when you call and get a voice mail it will present itself like it is a utility company, when it's not."
Roanoke City said fraud cases are under-reported because some victims are ashamed. Officers said don't be embarrassed, report those crimes to help prevent other people from becoming victims.