Digital wallet users are reporting falling victim to “cash-flipping,” a scam in which con artists pretend to be helping those adversely affected by COVID-19. If you use a digital wallet, such as Venmo, Zelle or Apple Pay, be on the lookout for this scam.
Here’s how it works: you receive a message in your digital wallet app from someone you don’t know, explaining that for a small donation to their fund, you will receive a larger payment in return. The scammer claims your payment will help those in need of emergency money during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, once the money is sent, no return payment is sent your way.
BBB also advises digital wallet users to be wary of fake cash giveaways appearing to target people in need of money during the pandemic. Scammers have been reported to Tweet these giveaways, adding hashtags normally associated with legitimate giveaways, further blurring the line of what may be real v. fake.
Tips to Avoid Digital Wallet Scams:
Only use digital wallet apps with people you personally know.
If someone you don’t know requests money from you, do not send it, even if it’s attached to a promising offer. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Link your digital wallet app to a credit card. Using a credit card will help protect you if you don't get the goods or services you paid for. Linking to a debit card or directly to your bank account does not give you that added protection.
Report any suspicious activity to Scamtracker.org, and visit covid19cincy.org/ for current information on scams pertaining to COVID-19.