The 1985 Classic Rock song “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits goes a long way toward explaining the appeal of many scams. Too many of us somehow fall for outrageous scams that appear to offer the utterly impossible “money for nothing” and end up losing money to a scam artist, the only criminal we refer to as an “artist.” Scammers have a knowledge of psychology that Freud would have envied and are quite adept at appealing to our greed and blinding us to the fact that if the proposal offers “money for nothing,” it is a scam.
A scam that has been with us for years, but is resurfacing with a vengeance is the Money Flipping Scam. Like many classic scams, it comes in many variations, but the essence of the scam is that you don’t have to do anything in order to make a huge profit on your “investment.” This scam is appearing throughout social media including on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In one current variation of the scam, there will be numerous photos and testimonials of people who have used the “secret” method of the scammer to make huge profits. The scammer explains that they have the secret to adding a zero to the value on a pre-paid money card such as a Green Dot Moneypak card, so for instance they can turn your $200 pre-paid money card into $2,000. They obviously won’t tell you the secret, but they offer, for a small commission of around $20, to provide you with these huge profits. The commission payment almost makes it seem like it is legitimate, but obviously there is nothing to indicate that this “secret” is anything more than just a trick to get your money. When victims agree to participate in the scheme, they provide the scammer with the card information from a pre-paid money card purchased by the victim in order to enable the scammer to use the secret method to increase the value of the card, however, what happens next is that the scammers use the information provided to empty the card of its value and the victim loses the entire value of the prepaid card. It is helpful to remember that even if there were such a secret to manipulating the value of the card, it would constitute the crime of larceny and you would be a criminal for participating in the scheme.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no such thing as “money for nothing.” The money flipping scam as described above and other variations of the scam are nothing more than scams intended to lure people into trusting someone that doesn’t deserve your trust and stealing your money. Never invest in anything that you do not totally understand. In this instance, while common sense should tell us that this is a scam, you should also consider how could it work and if it would be legal if it did work. In this instance, there is no logical, legal way that such a scam could be effective and legitimate. Never let your emotions blind you to these facts.
By the way, here is the terrific music video of Dire Straits performing Money for Nothing.
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