Champaign police warn residents of telephone scams

CHAMPAIGN - The Champaign Police Department is advising residents to beware of a new telephone scam in Champaign County that involves Green Dot Money Pak cards.

Authorities say the scam involves a caller who claims to represent a government agency, the courts, or a law enforcement agency.  The caller tells the potential victim that they owe money for back taxes or a utility, or have missed jury duty, and must pay a fine or face jail time.  The victim is then told to pay the fine using a Green Dot Money Pak card, with the funds being directed to a specified bank account.

Authorities also say other schemes include a caller claiming to be a grandchild of the victim, or an attorney calling on behalf of the child, both of which involve requesting money to pay medical expenses or for bail after being arrested.  Much like the earlier scam, the victim is told to make a payment to a specified bank account using a Green Dot Money Pak card.

The Champaign Police Department say that no law enforcement agency or reputable business will call a person and request that they make a payment to a bank account.  Officials also say calling local law enforcement will verify if the call his legitimate or if you're the target of fraud.

If you believe that you have become the victim of a scam, you are asked to call the Champaign Police Department at (217) 351-4545.

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