As strange as it is, sugar daddy/baby relationships have been on the rise in the last couple of years. This arrangement seems to lie in a grey area of the law, and hence not completely illegal (don’t get us wrong, we are definitely not telling you to become a sugar baby). But as these relationships become more mainstream, along come the scammers hoping to make a quick buck.
Here is everything you need to know about the new sugar daddy/baby Instagram scam, and how to avoid it.
What is the ‘sugar daddy/baby’ scam
The elaborate sugar daddy/baby scam is not your everyday scam. It takes place over a period of time. Here, a person poses as your friend willing enough to take debts off you — thus the term sugar sugar/daddy — and actually does it (not really!), asks you for small gifts in return, but in the end, you realize it was all part of the scam and you left with the original debt plus the burden of those gift cards.
Well, there a few ways the sugar daddy/baby scam plays out. Some are more elaborate than others, and some are easy to spot right off the bat. There are some red flags to look out for, which we have mentioned below. But first, let’s talk about how the scam works.
How sugar baby/daddy scam works
The scam begins innocently with a random DM to a person striking up a conversation. The scammer slowly cozies up to the person, gaining their trust, and eventually becoming their friend. They will keep bringing up the fact that they are flushed with cash, so you start to believe them.
The scammer posing as a sugar baby/daddy tries to get as much information about the person; especially their financial standings. Finally, as a gesture of goodwill, they offer to pay off your credit card debt. They naturally need your bank details in order to transfer the money. Once they have that, they use a fraudulent account to transfer funds into your account and pay off your debt.
That’s when the real scam begins. They now ask the person to buy them gift cards in different forms, like iTunes, Google Play cards, etc. Naturally, the person who is now finally out of debt does not hesitate to comply. They shower the scammer with gift cards, which the scammer then quickly drains.
The scammer soon disappears into thin air, leading the person wondering what happened. But the worst part hits now. The credit card companies that finally wise up to the fraudulent account remove any trace of those deposits in the person’s account. The person is now left with their original debt, with the added expense of those gift cards.
A simpler way the scam plays out is a person asking you for your details, simply because they want to deposit funds in your account. When you give them your details, they send you an edited image showing you that the amount (usually a big one) has bounced back.
They then proceed to tell you that you need to first send them a small amount (which, of course, they promise to pay back to you), to let the bank know the transaction is legit. And then they disappear.
How to avoid falling for the scam
Here are a few things to look out for if you think you are being scammed.
- This is an obvious one; do not give out your bank details to strangers. As soon as a stranger asks for your bank details you should be on the lookout.
- Scammers usually direct you to a less secure chat environment where you cannot report them to moderators. Watch out for people trying to get you to continue the chat on a different third-party app.
- If a sugar baby/daddy immediately offers to pay off your debt or any outstanding amounts, chances are they are not real.
- Do not believe a person saying that you need to transfer money to them before they can transfer money to you. That is not how banks work.
What to do if you gave someone your bank details
If you did give a scammer your bank details, here are some things you can do on your end. Don’t worry, if you only gave them your bank account number, there’s not much they can do.
- Contact your bank and let them know what happened. You can either block all transactions on your account to prevent the fraudulent money from coming in or if you know the scammer’s bank details, you can simply block that person from depositing into your account.
- If the money has already been deposited, you should contact the police to let them know what has happened. Tell them that you think the money is fraudulent. Don’t worry, you won’t get in trouble for that.
- All conversations you have had with this person should be immediately saved (you can use screenshots) and kept safe. You can use this as evidence later.
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We hope this article has helped. Remember, never trust a stranger on the internet; especially if they’re giving away free money. If you have any queries, feel free to reach out to us in the comments below.