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My dad just told me that he had accepted a passive income job offer on WhatsApp where the task is to like the linked Instagram post every 20 minutes to earn money. The amount is too good for such job and my dad had really received the money and cashed some of it out. I can't help but think that this is just some initial consistency in order to hook someone in.

He also told me of this other similar job where they would deposit a certain amount of money to earn higher amount of return, up to 10k. I already feel like this is a scam because it's just too easy, but thought I could get more info here.

I want to know if this is actually a scam and if it is, how does it work. Thanks.

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    It could be turned into a scam at any moment; they may just be investing a bit to get him on the hook. Or it may not and he may just be risking getting himself kicked out of the system for violation of terms of service. Or the site may threaten more serious action. In any case, it's borderline criminal activity and not respectable no matter how you slice it.
    – keshlam
    Oct 12, 2023 at 14:53
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    Just additional info: there's a real industry of buying reviews/likes, which, while it is problematic on its own, might be legit (as explained in gomennathan's answer)
    – Andrew T.
    Oct 13, 2023 at 5:10
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    @keshlam Excuse my laughter, but the "sanctity of social media" is hardly an issue at all.
    – user26460
    Oct 13, 2023 at 13:39
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    @UglyDuck That's a very well known scam technique called pig butchering. They give you some smaller amounts of real money at the start; "fattening a hog before slaughter". This builds trust, as your comment demonstrates. Your trust leads you to fall for the much larger amounts they ask for later.
    – ceejayoz
    Oct 13, 2023 at 14:29
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    @user26460: Paid likes of this form are illegal. It constitutes a paid, undisclosed endorsement. Quoting the FTC: If “likes” are from non-existent people or people who have no experience using the product or service, they are clearly deceptive, and both the purchaser and the seller of the fake “likes” could face enforcement action.
    – Brian
    Oct 13, 2023 at 14:54

3 Answers 3

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You're right.

He also told me of this other similar job where they would deposit a certain amount of money to earn higher amount of return, up to 10k

That's the real scam. This is called "money laundering". Your dad will receive money stolen from somewhere else and will be asked to send back (probably a wire transfer) some of it. The money your dad received is tainted criminally obtained, but the money he sent is his own and he sent it willingly, making it a gift. So the scammers have laundered criminally obtained stolen money and made it to a legitimate gift from your dad, who in turn will be holding the bag when the stolen money is inevitably traced to him.

The insta thing is just a ruse to gain his confidence.

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    It is possible that the scammers are also using the Instagram thing to make their fake Insta accounts seem more legitimate, so that they can recruit more people into the scam. Alternatively, they might be selling accounts to other scammers.
    – Kevin
    Oct 12, 2023 at 20:07
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    That's definitely the main scam. The scammers are also making money selling the like fraud service Dad's been suckered into participating in; although AFAIK the money involved from that is low enough that I'm 99.99% certain anything he's been paid is also stolen money that will be clawed back within a few weeks. Oct 12, 2023 at 23:37
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    I think there's an existing question on here about something along the lines of the second "job" -- essentially you never get your money back. They keep asking you to deposit more and more in order to "unlock" your deposit and/or gain higher returns until you eventually have no more money or realize it's a scam.
    – Herohtar
    Oct 13, 2023 at 1:49
  • Notwithstanding, the scammers might as well be selling bulk likes on the side to starving influencers. If one is already money laundering, why not double dip´? Oct 13, 2023 at 14:22
  • @mindwinremembermonica I think I remember watching a documentary about those likes. 1 person with a tens or hundreds of smartphones. Don't think paying a single person can compete with that economically. Might be a side benefit, but not the real scam.
    – DonQuiKong
    Oct 14, 2023 at 6:34
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It's a scam.

When people pay for likes, the rate is very very low. It's like a cent per like or something, often even less. What people do is put up 100s of phones on shelves all facing up, pay a bunch of people to come in and press like on them all all day long, as fast as possible. Each worker makes only a little money, but the person running the sweatshop skims a little from each one, and ends up making a tidy profit. The workers don't get paid enough to live, so this is only possible in extremely poor places, with people who are living with parents and completely desperate.

Nobody is going to pay your dad any kind of useful money just to do 3 likes an hour. You can get that for fractions of a dollar.

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    Although the spirit of the answer is about right, the details aren't. Even at 1 rupiah per like (just over one twohundreths of a cent!) you can easily make 1.5 cents per minute, or $0.90 an hour, which is comfortably above the minimum wage in Indonesia, and definitely sufficient to live on outside the nice parts of major cities.
    – user125448
    Oct 14, 2023 at 5:01
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Definitly a scam. As gomennathan says, the rate for that "work" is very low. "passive income" aways a scam.

How to avoid the most common scams in this situation:

Never send them any money under any circumstances. If they send you 500$ and ask you to send 400$ back, DON'T DO IT. The 500$ are fake, the money you send back is real.

If they say you need to send money so they can send you your paycheck or whatever, DON'T DO IT.

Do not deposit money for them.

Do not "invest". The second "job" they describe is definitly a scam. You have to work for jobs. They will ask for 10$, and then give you 20$ back after a week or something similar. You think "Wow this works. I want to double more of my money". Then you give them the 20$ they gave you and 500$ of your own money. And then they disappear. Or they say: We will pay you out, but we can't right now. And demand even more money from you.

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    To add: if the money the victim receives was stolen or from credit card fraud, it may get reposessed from their account - after the victim forwarded the $400.
    – cthulhu
    Oct 14, 2023 at 11:44
  • "passive income" includes investment income, which is not a scam. Some definitions of "passive income" also include rental property, which in reality is not exactly a passive endeavor, since maintenance and other property-owning tasks are required.
    – shoover
    Oct 19, 2023 at 17:06
  • Yes, but no one calls it passive income, if it's not a scam. So everytime you read it you can safely assume it's a scam. Oct 19, 2023 at 22:35

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