Get rich quick schemes are about as old as money itself, but as you might expect, they are very much at home in the Internet Age.
“Money flipping” scams have been making their way around social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Supposedly you can fill a pre-paid debit card and send it with your PIN and it will be “flipped” into a larger amount.
One such proposal I found on Facebook states, “$100 gets you $1,000, $200 gets you $2,000, $300 gets you $3,000, $400 gets you $4,000, $500 gets you $5,000 and so on…” and tells you to text a phone number.
You might see something like that in your feed, along with thank you messages from supposed “investors” and pictures of people fanning $100 bills. Don’t be fooled. If you do send money, don’t expect to get anything back. The scam artist will simply empty the card and block you from posting so you can’t tell anyone you’ve been ripped off.
Your BBB has the following advice to avoid money flipping scams:
- Do a quick search. Before contacting the potential scammer, do a web search of their username or phone number. If it’s a scam, chances are that other victims have posted complaints and information online.
- Beware of prepaid debit cards. Wire transfers used to be a scammer’s favorite way to collect payment, but prepaid debit cards are now the preferred method. Treat prepaid debit cards like cash. Once you give away the account info, you will not be able to get that money back.
- Don’t trust your friends’ taste online. It might not actually be them “liking” or sharing these scam posts. Their account may have been hacked. But it may also be clickjacking, a technique that scammers use to trick you into “liking” something that you wouldn’t otherwise.
- If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Use common sense when seeking ways to supplement your income. Anyone who claims to be able to turn a small investment into piles of cash in mere minutes is a scam artist.
To find out more about scams or report one, check out BBB Scam Stopper.