LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Federal Bureau of Investigation has recently alerted social media companies of a series of legitimate accounts being hijacked by scammers advertising unrealistic money flipping opportunities. These scammers claim they will exponentially increase a victim’s funds once provided via Cash App.
These scammers, often using legitimate-looking profiles displaying strangers with large sums of cash, will contact the victim directly via private messenger, often using accounts stolen from the victim's friends. The scammers will offer returns larger than the victim’s investment at no interest and no risk. However, if the victim sends money, communications are either ceased or scammers will send fake Cash App screenshots indicating the victim’s money has already increased. In some instances, they then request more money with the promise of more returns that the victim will never see.
Scammers will also often suggest the payments are still pending in the victim’s Cash App account, which scammers suggest can be fixed by asking the victim to provide the email connected to their social media accounts. Once scammers have the email, they will reset the victim’s passwords and take control of their social media accounts. The cycle then continues, targeting the victim’s friends and followers.
The FBI suggests combating these scams by using dual-factor authentication, not changing account information based on outside requests, verifying who you’re speaking with and avoiding links sent by strangers.
To defend yourself from these so-called money flipping scams, here is the FBI's advice:
DUAL FACTOR AUTHORIZATION
Use dual-factor authentication when available. Though many find this inconvenient, having DFA prevents accounts from being hijacked simply by email reset. This helps prevent many forms of account hijacking and can also alert users of hijack attempts.
CHANGING ACCOUNT INFORMATION
Do not change your account information based on outside requests. There is no legitimate reason to change your account information to that of someone else’s. Cash App is not locked by social media settings, and anyone that attempts to convince you otherwise is likely attempting to gain access to your information. Be cautious.
AVOID SUSPICIOUS LINKS
Do not click on links and verify who you’re conversing with. If you are having an unusual conversation with someone on social media and they attempt to solicit money or account information, question this and give them a phone call. Talk to your friends live, ask questions, be skeptical, and do not click on links as they may be directing you to a malicious webpage. Online, anyone can be anyone else. Trust, but verify. If the money transfer application has a security pin feature that requires PIN entry before authorizing a transfer, use it!