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DALLAS (July 20, 2015) (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Scam Awareness Alliance, a nonprofit organization committed to increasing public awareness about scams, is warning consumers about crafty scam artists who use popular social media sites to lure unsuspecting individuals into sending them money.
The fraudsters attract victims via social media by advertising a simple way to turn small amounts of up-front cash into large sums of money. These "get rich quick schemes" typically promise money either through an investment or by taking advantage of a flaw in various money wiring systems.
They often advertise their abilities to 'flip money' by posting pictures of themselves or others holding stacks of cash with a caption stating how easy it was to make thousands of dollars in just minutes on various social media sites.
"Social sites are a fun way to stay connected with family and friends, unfortunately scammers and criminals also use legitimate and trusted online networking services to take money from unsuspecting victims," says Pam Patsley, chairman of the Scam Awareness Alliance. "You should never provide bank account information to someone you do not know and especially to anyone you have never met in person."
After a victim is interested, the fraudster asks for personal information such as bank accounts and pin numbers. After taking the money, the scammer blocks the victim from his or her social media account ensuring the victim can no longer make contact or recover the money.
"Once money is sent via a money transfer service, the money is gone and there is usually no way to get it back," says Patsley. "It is just like giving someone cash, so beware of suspicious claims and requests."
According to the National Consumers League, typical complaints about social media "flipping" are received from younger consumers, with many being under the age of 30. Most victims are experiencing financial difficulties when they are lured in by the scammer; however, anyone who uses social media is a target.
About The Scam Awareness Alliance
The Scam Awareness Alliance was founded by MoneyGram International, Inc. and was created to raise awareness around common scams that target innocent Americans on a daily basis. The Alliance helps to provide tips and information in order to educate people to recognize the "red flags" that may indicate potential scams, and arm them with information that they can use to protect themselves and their loved ones. One of the ways the Alliance raises awareness of scams is through a series of public service announcements. These ads air on stations across the country and depict common scams; helping everyday Americans recognize the "red flags." The Alliance also created a monthly "Red Flag Award," which it gives to organizations, individuals or groups that go the extra mile in warning Americans about the latest and most damaging scams.
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