"Green Dot" utility scam hits Saginaw County

The Green Dot scam has its first victim in Saginaw County.

A scam that has been spreading nationwide has its first victim in Saginaw County.

Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel said a business in Kochville Township was told it had to pay its Consumers Energy bill with a Green Dot prepaid credit card.

The business paid $500 using the card.

Sheriff Federspiel said, â??We want business owners and residents to know that the Green Dot scam is just that, a scam to take your money. We want to warn them to never be pressured into making payments over the phone using a prepaid credit card, or to share personal information over the phone with anyone they donâ??t know.â??

Consumers Energy customers have been reporting this scam in Michigan starting in 2013. 293 people have reported being called by people claiming to represent Consumers Energy that do not.

Green Dot pre-paid credit cards are available at most drug stores or food stores. These cards allow consumers to put up to $500 on the card.

The scam will have a caller, who can speak English or Spanish, demanding payment for a Consumers Energy bill within the hour. The customer is told to buy a Green Dot card, and then call back to a toll-free number in order to pay this "bill" using that card.

Consumers Energy says that they would never demand payment over the phone using only a Green Dot card. Additionally they warn that customers should never give credit card information over the phone to anyone that they don't know.

Anyone who believes that they might be a victim of this scam should call Consumers Energy at 1-800-477-5050 as well as your local law enforcement.