Spotting Money-Flipping Scams on Social Networks!
As if the lack of privacy on social networks isn't bad enough, there is something else that may be worse. You could lose a lot of money if you are caught in a "money-flipping" scam.
How, you ask? And what is a money-flipping scam?
According to Scambusters.org, money-flipping scams have been around for a long time. These are simple scams where someone tells you that they know a secret trick that can double or triple your money, and all you have to do is give your money to them. Needless to say, they make a run with your money.
You would think this scam is easy to spot, right? Well, you'd be surprised how many young people fall prey to money-flipping scams on social media every day on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter—you name it.
The scammers make it fun and appealing to participate by using pictures of attractive people swimming in money with appealing headlines, such as "Double or triple your $20 investment in minutes!"
With a small investment like that, how much could you possibly lose? All the person wants is a little commission. Plus, they use normal-sounding profile names like John or Lucy to make it all the more believable.
Well, let's say you need some (quick) cash and decide to participate. You "friend" or "follow" the scammer on their social network, s/he gives you their email or phone number and you connect.
You talk and learn that the process is simple. You get a prepaid money card and credit a specified amount of money to it.
So, you get your money card with a $200 balance. You are then told to provide the card details so the person can use this information to work around the money system and double your cash. They ask for the card number, pin number, time of receipt of transaction, etc.
The next thing you know, you're "unfriended" or blocked on the social network. You never hear from the scammer again. The scammer is long gone, and you lose all the cash on the prepaid money card.
So what can you do to avoid being scammed like this? Just like the scam itself, the solutions are simple:
The cliché comes into play: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If someone you don't know offers you free cash, it's probably a scam.
If someone asks you for personal or financial information, DO NOT provide it unless you know the person requesting it.
Be very stingy with your prepaid card details. Research the person online. It is probably a scam.
Never give out PIN numbers. Never.
Now, a bonus fact: While flipping scams are unfortunate, prepaid cards can make sense in everyday life. There are many prepaid cards available: VISA, MasterCard, Mango, PayPal and MoneyPak are just a few. They all come with different regulations, prepaid amounts and fees.
The moral of the story is this: Never use a prepaid card without thinking about it defensively.
That's it for now. I hope this helps!