During a challenging year like 2020, scammers are out in full force promising various get rich quick opportunities. The latest utilizes the Cash App and similar tech.

According to the Better Business Bureau, this scam starts by seeing a photo on social media that features a pile of cash.  Along with the photo is someone bragging how they "flipped" a couple hundred dollars into thousands and, of course, you can do it too!

Ultimately, the "investor" will ask you to use Cash App, or another digital wallet service, to send them what is usually $300 to $800. They promise to "invest" your money in the stock market where they will multiply that initial deposit in a few days.

However, when you try to get your money back you are told that Cash App charges fees to get it back to you.  Or, you could be told that you must first give them more money so that your taxes can be paid to the IRS.

Sadly, not only will you never recoup your initial investment, the addition money you spent on phony fees and taxes are also lost to the scammer.

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This is another one of those "if it sounds too good to be true it probably is" scenarios.  The BBB offers the following 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 a giveaway is real 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 is “guaranteed” to do well, or that offers low or no risk with a high return. Anyone who claims to be able to turn a small investment into piles of cash in mere minutes is a scam artist.
  • Treat Cash App like cash. Once you send money though Cash App, you may not be able to get that money back. It’s now scammers payment method of choice, so be careful.

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