October 24th 2019
A Snapchat account called @freecashforu promised impossibly high returns for a £200 investment.
Daily Mirror journalist Andrew Penman spoke to a victim of the scam who had been told she could enjoy a return of £1,700 after @freecashforu was mentioned by a social media influencer with over 150,000 followers. Instead, her payment disappeared into a bank account held at German digital bank N25, with messages to @freecashforu not being replied to and the Snapchat account subsequently deleted.
The victim told Penman: “I’ve commented on this on Snapchat and two other followers said they had been victims as well, and they were under the impression that Mariyah Khan had tried this.”
Penman says that he had not been able to reach the influencer – who is the sister of boxer Amir Khan – for comment, but emphasises that there is no suggestion that Mariyah Khan is responsible for the scam.
Get Safe Online CEO Tony Neate said: “We are beginning to see a rise in these types of frauds taking place on social media so users need to be aware of the risks. Always remember that things online may not always be what they seem, especially offers that are too good to be true. We advise that you should never transfer money to someone you don’t know as you have absolutely no protection if it turns out to be a fraud.
“In this case, the user has reported it to both Snapchat and Action Fraud which is the correct thing to do. It’s unlikely that the fraudster that tricked her into transferring money would be able to use her account to move money out of as they would still need the account holder’s permission to transfer funds out. However, we would recommend that she uses this opportunity to change her password and PINs for her online banking and significant online accounts, such as email, to protect herself further.”