Beware Of Gas Card Scam

By: Auburn Hutton
By: Auburn Hutton

It appears a new scam is making the rounds, and it targets everyone who is sick of high gas prices.

We all know how high gas prices are these days.
"Quite a bit, almost 40 dollars, a little too much."
"This is about average for me, 50 bucks a week."

A new company is offering a card that allows them to pay the price of only about half a tank of gas. While it sounds like a good deal, police say: Buyers Beware.

Www.wantfreegas.net tells buyers they can get 100 dollars worth of fuel for just 60 bucks, but it's not that simple. Finance Crimes Detective Paul Villa checked out the site. The cheap gas ad directed him to another site for a company called Genesis 255. That site makes promises to help you reach your financial dreams. Before you get even a drop of discounted fuel, you have to first pay out a minimum of 1000 dollars just to qualify for the gas discount card.

"You have to make up 300 dollars up front worth of gas, which you're probably never going to do, and you have to provide new members. There's a finite number of people you can provide. It's a pyramid scheme with gas as the bait," said Villa.

Villa says he deals with pyramid schemes and Internet scams everyday, and they're usually pretty easy to spot. WantFreeGas.Net displays one of the key red flags of a typical scam, misspelled words and poor use of grammar.

"If it's a reputable business, they're going to take the time to do a little editing on their website."

Police recommend you do a little fact checking before you give out any personal information, like calling the Secretary of State's office or the County Recorder. Even more importantly, police say don't trust everything you read on the Internet.

"If something looks too good to be true, it is. You don't get something for nothing in this world. That's something we all learned at our Momma's knee."

Police say if you think you've been scammed, the first thing you should do is visit the Internet Fraud Complaint website at www.ic3.gov, then file a police report.


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