Steve Weisman’s latest column from USA Today

Here is a link to my latest column from today’s edition of USA Today.  It deals with the timely topic of identity theft and data breach threats while holiday shopping.  Happy Thanksgiving to all.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/2015/11/25/weisman-emv-cards-holiday-shopping/76265450/

Scam of the day – August 28, 2015 – Money flipping scam

Social media is suddenly being flooded with advertisements for money flipping opportunities.  In one version of the scam being found on Instagram, there is a photograph of someone folding a pile of money with text that says that it is easy to “flip” a couple of hundred dollars to as much as thousands of dollars and then gives you contact information in order to take part in this great opportunity.  Once contacted the scammer then instructs the victim to provide their debit card and PIN to the scammer in order to be able to deposit a check into your account.  The scammer then tells you that he or she will deposit a check into your account and then withdraw the money shortly thereafter.  You then get paid for allowing the scammer to use your account in this manner.  The problem is that the check the scammer deposits into your account is counterfeit, but the money withdrawn from your account in the amount of the counterfeit check is not so you lose money from your account.

TIPS

Certainly everyone wants, as Dire Straits sang years ago, “money for nothing,” however, you should always be skeptical of anyone proposing a scheme that appears to offer that kind of reward.  What possible legitimate reason could there be for a stranger to need to use your bank account to cash a check?  This is an obvious scam and one that should be avoided.   You also should never consider giving your debit card and PIN to a stranger or even a friend for that matter.