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Want to turn $ 500 into $ 10,000 with very little effort? Of course you do. Scammers are taking more advantage of COVID to promote get-rich-quick dreams. How? ‘Or’ What? One way is to promote money flipping scams on social media. BBB sees dozens of reports every month about these drawbacks.

How the scam works:

You see a photo of a pile of money on social media. In the caption, the user boasts of having “returned” a few hundred dollars into thousands. Do you want to do it too? It’s easy. Just send a message to the account holder. The “investor” will ask you to send money – typically $ 300 to $ 800 – via Cash App or another digital wallet service. They “invest” your money in the stock market where it multiplies 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 scammer claims that you must first pay taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. Some victims claim to have sent thousands of dollars in incidentals. Every dollar you pay for returned money – from the initial “investment” to alleged taxes – goes straight into the crook’s pocket. You will never see your money again.

App Cash and its parent company Square are aware that scammers are using their platform in this way and have contacted customers who have been affected by certain scams. They recommend any customer needing further assistance to contact their support team at cash.app/help.

Tips for avoiding money scams:

  • Tell a real cash app giveaway a scam. Since 2017, Cash App has been offering weekly giveaways under the hashtag #CashAppFriday. The company is partnering with businesses and celebrities asking users to retweet or comment on their social media posts in the hopes of being shortlisted for a cash prize. Scammers often use similar language and claim to be part of an official giveaway. Make sure you search for a giveaway first before responding.
  • Search online. Before contacting the potential scammer, do a web search for their username or phone number. If it is a scam, it is likely that other victims have posted complaints and information online.
  • Beware of buzzwords. Certain sentences should raise a red flag. Don’t believe anything that is “guaranteed” to make a lot of money, or that offers little or no risk with a high return. Anyone who claims to be able to quickly turn a small investment into a heap of cash is a con artist.
  • Treat the Cash app like money. Once you send money through Cash App, you may never be able to get that money back. Cash App is a popular payment method for scammers, so be careful.

For more information

Many investment scams use similar techniques, see BBB.org/InvestmentScam. Learn more about Cash App Scams and stay safe when using a digital wallet like Cash App and Zelle.

If you have been the target of this scam, please help others avoid the same problem by reporting your experience on the site 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 non-profit organization was established in 1954 to promote responsible, honest and ethical business practices and to promote customer confidence through business self-regulation. BBB’s primary services include Company Profiles, Dispute Resolution, Truth Advertising, Scam Warnings, Consumer and Business Education, and Charity Review.

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