Want to turn $500 into $10,000 with very little effort? Of course, you do. Scammers are taking greater advantage during COVID to promote get-rich-quick dreams. How? One way is by promoting “money flipping” scams on social media. BBB is seeing dozens of reports each month about these cons.
How the Scam Works:
You see a photo of a pile of cash on social media. In the caption, the user brags about having “flipped” a couple hundred dollars into thousands. Want to do it, too? It’s easy. Just message the account holder. The “investor” will ask you to send money – typically $300 to $800 – through Cash App or another digital wallet service. They “invest” your money in the stock market where it multiples in days.
Here’s the catch: When you try to get your money back, the scammer claims that Cash App charges a fee to return it. In other cases, the con artist alleges that you first need to pay taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. Some victims report sending thousands of dollars in phony fees. Every dollar you pay for money flipping – from the initial “investment” to the alleged taxes – is going straight into the scammer’s pocket. You won’t see any of your money again.
Cash App and its parent company Square are aware that scammers are using its platform in this way and they have communicated with customers who have been impacted by certain scams. They recommend that any customer in need of additional assistance contact their support team at cash.app/help.
Tips to Avoid Money Flipping Scams:
- Tell a real Cash App giveaway from a scam. Since 2017, Cash App has been running weekly giveaways under the hashtag #CashAppFriday. The company partners with businesses and celebrities who ask users to retweet or comment on their social posts in hopes of being selected for a cash prize. Scammers often use similar language and pretend like they are part of an official giveaway. Make sure to first research a giveaway before you respond.
- Search online. 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.
- Be very wary of buzz words. Certain phrases should raise a red flag. Don’t believe anything that’s “guaranteed” to make big money, or that offers low or no risk with a high return. Anyone who claims to be able to turn a small investment quickly into piles of cash is a scammer.
- Treat the Cash App like cash. Once you send money through Cash App, you might not be able to ever get that money back. Cash App is a popular scammers’ method of payment, so be careful.
For More Information
If you’ve been targeted by this scam, help others avoid the same problem by reporting your experience on the BBB Scam Tracker.
About BBB: BBB serving Central Virginia serves Richmond, the Tri-Cities, Charlottesville, and Fredericksburg, as well as 42 surrounding counties from Fauquier to Mecklenburg and Northumberland to Amherst. The nonprofit organization was established in 1954 to advance responsible, honest, and ethical business practices and to promote customer confidence through self-regulation of business. Core services of BBB include business profiles, dispute resolution, truth-in advertising, scam warnings, consumer and business education, and charity review.