State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Police Warn Residents About Green Dot Rental Scam

by on August 02, 2014 9:27 AM

Police have received several reports from victims about what they are calling the “Green Dot scam,” in which a potential renter unknowingly responds to a fake real estate listing online.

After responding to the listing, a con artist who calls himself himself as “David Crowe” asks the victim to pay for several months of rent using a Green Dot prepaid debit card, according to a news release.

Green Dot cards can be purchased at various retailers and activated by phone or over the Internet. They work like a credit card and can be used for purchases in stores, over the phone and on the Internet.

Police believe the scam is being run from outside the United States and urge all State College residents to exercise caution when looking at apartment listings, especially if asked to pay using a prepaid card.  Police also encourage residents to confirm all rental information in person, and to avoid providing financial information or payment without first obtaining proof that the listing is legitimate.

If you have any details about this scam, or believe you have been a victim, call the State College Police Department at 814-234-7150 or submit an anonymous tip at their website. For more information, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-441-2555 or visit


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Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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