People can be too trusting and in the world of the Internet, that can be dangerous. There is a scam that promises to make you rich using Instagram; and who wouldn’t want to be rich if it’s as easy as sending your debit card and bank account to a nice looking person on your Instagram feed? Be aware though, that nice and seemingly trustworthy person who promises to help you, may run off with the entire contents of your bank account.

The scam is not new, but the strategy has evolved and in such a way that it really seems a bit crazy to believe. It’s a variation of the money flipping scam. The nice person holding a wad of 20 dollar bills in a photo claims it and more can be all yours if you just send her your debit card and PIN so she can deposit money directly into your account. And if it is that easy to get rich, why wouldn’t you do it?

The scammers actually may deposit money in to your account with a check. Then, shortly after, you will see a withdrawal of a much larger amount. The check was fake, of course, and not only does your new Instagram contact disappear with your money, but you may also owe the bank some fees as well.

  • Never give your debit card to anyone and consider your PIN especially secret.
  • Consider strangers you meet on the Internet as you would those you just met walking down the street. If you wouldn’t give someone you met on the street your debit card and PIN, why would you send it to someone you never met and only know through social media?
  • It isn’t possible to get rich quick, so don’t fall for the easy money ploys.
  • No legitimate advertiser will ask you to mail in your debit card and give out your PIN, so that should be a big red flag that the offer is a scam.

An example of this flipping money scam came from a young person who saw an ad on the social media site. The promise was that if she sent a text to a number, a person sent instructions for where to send her debit card and PIN. The scammer said she’d make the victim $4,000. The debit card was kept for a week and instead of $4,000 being her account, she was told she owed the bank $6,000 and the deposited check was a fake. Of course the scammer’s Instagram account was deleted and the scammer was nowhere to be found.

If you have been the victim of this scam, contact local law enforcement and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Instructions for doing this are on the organization’s website.

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