Social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are prime for scammers to promote get rich quick schemes to unsuspecting victims. Posts promoting “money flipping” are showing up more often in consumer’s newsfeeds. Usually the post contains a photo of cash and the caption boasts of how easily a small amount can be “flipped” into a large amount. The profile of the poster seems legitimate including photos, followers, and even thank you messages from other “investors”.
If a consumer messages the profile they’ll receive a response with directions to put money on a prepaid debit card from a local convenience store and then share the card number and pin with this “investor” and he/she will flip the money for the consumer. The prepaid debit card number and pin allow anyone with them to withdraw the money on the card. After the consumer shares this information with the “investor,” the “investor” usually drains the card and then blocks the consumer from contacting their social media account.
Tips for Spotting “Money Flipping” Scams:
- Search Online – Before contacting the social media account promoting the “investment,” search online for their username and phone number. You might find other victims have posted complaints and other information.
- Prepaid Debit Cards = Cash – Remember to treat prepaid debit cards as if they were cash. Anyone with the card number and pin will be able to withdraw the money. If you wouldn’t give a stranger cash then don’t give them the account information.
- Trust Your Instincts – If it sounds too good to be true it most likely is. Users should trust their instincts and use common sense when trying to supplement their income. Get rich quick schemes rarely have the payback they promise.
- Be Aware of Hacker Hostages – While you may share similar interests with your online friends, you shouldn’t trust their online content as it may not actually be them liking and sharing the posts you see. Hackers may have taken over their accounts or they may be victim to clickjacking, a technique used by scammers to trick people into clicking something they normally wouldn’t.
If you have been a victim of a money flipping scam or wish to report suspicious activity, please file a report here.