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Hillsborough County, Florida -- Are you desperate for cash? If so, you may be easy prey for this get rich quick scheme. The Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Agency is warning people of flipping money scams that are showing up on social media sites.

If you receive a message on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any other social site, including emails from people who promise to flip your money from hundreds to thousands, don't take the bait!

They claim they can flip your $100 into $1000 or $500 into $5,000 and so on. Often, these criminals post pictures of themselves or others holding stacks of money and stating how easy is was to make thousands of dollars in minutes.

The victim usually receives the following directions:

1) Purchase a Vanilla Reload or Green Dot MoneyPak card

2) Load the card with the ($100, $300, $500, etc. – your choice)

3) Send them the card information including the PIN or code on the back of the card.

You will be promised that once you complete your part, your card balance will increase and your cash will be available to you in just a few short minutes or hours.

Sadly, victims find they have nothing but a zero balance on their account. As soon as the victim provides the PIN or code, their cash is transferred by money gram to the crooks personal account which is often untraceable. Once the funds are stolen, the scammer blocks the victim from contacting them.

The National Consumer League (NCL) offers the following tips:

  • Before contacting the potential scammer, do a web search for their username or phone number to see if other consumers have posted warnings about that person. Scammers use aliases or profile names to appear legitimate (Mary Johnson) or affluent (MillionDollarMike).
  • If asked to give out your MoneyPak or Vanilla control number or PIN, do not respond. Instead, contact law enforcement.
  • Anyone who claims to be able to turn small amounts of up-front money into a large amount in minutes is trying to scam you.

If you suspect you are a victim of the flipping money scam, contact local law enforcement and file a complaint with NCL at www.fraud.org.

To contact the Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Agency, call (813) 903-3430 or visit www.HillsboroughCounty.org/ConsumerProtection.

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