What then happened was, put simply, predictable. Walker sent me a picture that the payment would be pending and he would need me to send him an amount first to get it verified. The picture stated that he requested money from me and he’d need me to verify it using a Google Play card. Unfortunately for Walker, the picture had obviously been faked. I blocked him.
As I’ve described above, aspiring “sugar daddies” lure in their victims through direct messages on Instagram with messages that sound (and are) too good to be true. They first try to gain your trust and before carrying on with requesting payment. When they do get around to requesting payment “verification”, these scammers will disappear as soon as the money is sent and has come into their possession.
The payment for the verification is mostly done over prepaid cards, like Google Play or Amazon Cards. These are payment methods that can’t easily be refunded.
This scam is far from unique nowadays — many young women are affected by similar ploys from cybercriminals across the globe. Some of these women may have a difficult financial situation and could use the money. Alternatively, they may just be looking for a certain standard of living that they can't otherwise afford. The alleged “sugar daddies” exploit these situations to make a profit — and end up causing a lot of damage.
As a rule of thumb, it’s safe to assume that whenever something seems to be good to be true, that’s usually the case. Here are a few additional steps that you can take to prevent yourself from being scammed.
Scams can happen anywhere — even on your favorite social media platform. When you come across such cases, if possible, report them directly to the network where they appear, whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or another channel. This is one step toward making the internet a safer place for us all.