People who are desperate for cash may be easy prey for a get-rich quick scheme known as a “flipping money scam.”
These scams are showing up on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, according to the Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Agency, in the form of messages from people promising to flip money from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars.
Often, these people post pictures of themselves or others holding stacks of money, and stating how easy it was to make thousands of dollars in minutes, officials said.
One of the more common scams encourages people to purchase a refillable cash card, load that card with money, and send that card information — including the personal identification number or code on the back of the card — to them.
Users are then promised that once they complete their part, the card balance will increase and cash will be available in a few minutes or hours. However, many of these people go back and find nothing on the card, since the money is transferred off the cards into someone else’s personal account, officials said.
Once the money is received, the scammer blocks them from being able to contact them.
The National Consumer League offers the following tips to try and avoid such a scam:
• Before contacting someone making such claims, do a Web search for their username or phone number, to see if other consumers have posted warnings about that person.
• If asked to give out a control number or PIN for a card, do not respond. Instead, contact law enforcement.
• Anyone who claims they can turn small amounts of upfront money into a large amount in minutes is likely trying to scam.
• Those who suspect they are a victim of the flipping money scam should contact law enforcement and file a complaint with the NCL at Fraud.org.
To reach the Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Agency, call (813) 903-3430, or visit HillsboroughCounty.org/ConsumerProtection.