SCAM ALERT: thieves finding new ways to steal from consumers

With the holidays fast-approaching, the Better Business Bureau is encouraging people to be aware of a new scam.

In the past, consumers were often encouraged to use Western Union to transfer funds. Now, because of a recent partnership between Western Union and the Better Business Bureau, scammers are turning to different ways to lure victims into sending money.

Area residents have complained of phone calls claiming they have won cash or prizes and need to send in fees to claim their prize. To do so, scammers are asking victims to use Green Dot Money Pak Cards. These are available at several big box stores and can be used like cash.

The Green Dot website encourages people to never hand over their Money Pak number or receipt except to approved retailers listed on its website.

To keep consumers safe, Dreama Jensen, of the Better Business Bureau recommends people use common sense when dealing with money.

"These criminals, these con artists, are so convincing, they're so schooled in their own field," says Jensen, "they have ways of getting around people and getting into their pocket book. And you think, 'it can't happen to me,' but just rememeber one thing, there's only one thing that keeps these con artists in business, and it's us the consumers."

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