BBB Warns Fast Money Scams Targeting Millennials Hit social media
Better Business Bureau Serving Acadiana is alerting consumers to “get rich quick” schemes appearing up on social media sites as part of its effort to inform and educate consumers on the latest frauds.
Get rich quick schemes promising high returns in minimal time are not a new phenomenon. But clever scammers are now promoting "money flipping" investment scams on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to target the younger, tech-savvy “Millennial” audience.
Here is how the scam works: an unethical individual posts a photo of a pile of cash on a social media site. The caption brags about an easy money flipping investment scheme. The scammer claims to have "flipped" a couple hundred dollars into thousands, and he or she offers to do the same for the consumer.
On Instagram, one post caption reads, "Who trying to make some money? Flip $200 to $2,000 fast and quick money. Only business." These posts are similar across all social media sites.
This "investor" tells the consumer that it's easy to get started. All they need to do is put $100 or more on a prepaid debit card from a local convenience store. The greater the value, the more money you can make. Then, share the card number and PIN, and the "investor" will do the rest.
Giving out the card number and PIN allows the "investor" to withdraw money from the card. Typically, the scammer drains the card and then blocks you from contacting their social media account.
BBB warns these scams are particularly effective going into the holiday season, when money becomes tight for consumers.
To make the scam seem real, scammers also create real-looking “profiles” to accompany the post. He or she appears to be a real person with photos and followers. The account may even have dozens of "thank you" comments from satisfied past "investors." BBB experience suggests these posts are by “actors,” not actual customers.
Beware the authentic-looking profile page – it only serves to further the swindle, not improve financial fortunes.
BBB offers the following tips to avoid money flipping scams:
- Do a quick web search before contacting the potential scammer. Check out their username or phone number. If it's a scam, chances are that other victims have posted complaints and information online.
- Be wary of prepaid debit cards. Wire transfers used to be a scammer's favorite way to collect payment, but prepaid debit cards are the new 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” online. It might not actually be them "liking" or sharing these scam posts. Their account may have been hacked. Scammers also use clickjacking, a technique that scammers use to trick you into "liking" something that you wouldn't otherwise.
- If it sounds too 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.
Start with Trust®. BBB Serving Acadiana works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.
Please contact BBB at bbb.org or (337) 981-3497 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America.
BBB Serving Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.