MosheP helped expose Sungame on DDF which led to the first half of that post.
After the post, a woman who invested in Sungame left a voicemail saying that it was a real deal and threatened that the article would “come back to haunt me” as there were “very very expensive and high class lawyers” who were going to “close down my whole page” as it was “costing them a lot of money.”
Well Neil Chandran, the CEO of that company, was indicted last week for fraud and bilking “investors” (suckers?) from hundreds of thousands of dollars.
And another get rich quick MLM bites the dust.
For the past several years since that post there have continued to be ads on various websites and Twitter accounts promising up to $10,000 for handing over your social security number and letting a faceless company have their way with your credit. On DDF we call them credit card signup farms.
Based on the number of ads they target it seems that they’re wildly successful in luring people in, but personally I’m flabbergasted that anyone would ever hand over their social security number to anyone other than their spouse or their financial institution. If anything goes wrong it’s you who will be on the hook and that can affect everything from future car and home purchases to even job applications. When I’m asked for a social security number at the doctor’s office, school, insurance agent, or anyone else, I just leave it blank. They don’t need that information and it can lead to endless months of torture if it falls into the wrong hands.
Not only that, but these farms also require your mother’s maiden name and literally everything else to take control of your life.
–DDF member Mutty91 shares that he was promised $7,200 by a farm in exchange for handing over his and his wife’s social security numbers, mothers’ maiden names, and other personal information and letting them apply for cards.
Last year the farm then proceeded to apply for credit cards using the information. Afterward they told him that he didn’t qualify for the full payout as he was “only” approved for 5 cards, so they could only pay him $1,600.
The farm promised to use acceptable spending methods and that he would be able to open cards in the future, but they proceeded to spend money using very shady tactics that have been known to cause banks and airlines to shut down the accounts of violators. After the fake spending they proceeded to quickly close down all the cards opened in order to avoid the annual fees.
The farm promised to cut him a $1,600 check but never did. Eventually the farm just stopped answering his emails and calls, so he posted on DDF asking if he was scammed.
After I took a look at the emails and his statements, the farm clarified to him that a mileage broker bought the farm’s miles and didn’t pay up some $90,000 of bills, hence the non-payment of his funds. They said that they hope to have a check for him in 30 days.
He’s not holding his breath.
-It seems to be a common practice for some of the farms to promise to use only regular spending but then proceed to generate fake spending to earn signup bonuses. The farms are not accurately representing the potential risks and fraud involved that are being committed in the victim’s name. That is simply irresponsible and inexcusable.
One DDF member sent me information about farms using even more nefarious methods to multiply the points balances of their victims before cashing out and leaving victims with massive negative balances that can affect their ability to get credit cards in the future. One of the farmers even bragged to him about how much he abuses his victims accounts as if it’s all just one big game. If the account holder knew the level of fraud that was being committed in their name they would likely have never allowed it, but they’re simply not informed of what’s actually going on.
-DDF member Saulius writes that he knows a teacher in Lakewood, NJ who gave his social security number to a farm for a lump payment. He also knows the broker that bought $4,000 of miles from the farm that opened credit cards in the teacher’s name. The broker was told that no shady tactics were used to generate the miles. The broker booked award tickets and paid more than $1,000 in taxes from miles from the account but the tickets were voided and the mileage account was closed as it turned out the farm did use shady spending tactics to generate the miles. The farm has refused to reimburse the broker for his losses.
–DDF member Aaaron shares that his friend gave his personal information to a farm that also promised to pay him some $7,000. The farm applied for 14 credit cards and managed to get him shut down by the bank. No surprise that they didn’t like seeing 14 applications come in like that. He didn’t get paid.
–There are countless more stories like these in this 1,300+ post DDF thread. Even when people are approved for all the cards that a farm applied for they still report not getting paid what was advertised.
I’m sure some people will comment that they deserved what is coming to them for acting out of laziness to apply for their own cards and do things the legitimate way without handing over their personal information to a farm.
But I understand where the victims are coming from. I’m sure many see a promise of a $10,000 windfall as a lifeboat that can change their lives and they act out of desperation. Still, the naivete of handing over all of your personal information is a bit shocking.
Even if you do get paid something from one of these farms, it most likely won’t be what was advertised and promised. Plus you’ll have to live with the risks of whatever may happen to your credit history and your relationships with the banks and airlines. Even a rogue employee at a farm can do a world of harm with all of your personal information.
Are bad things guaranteed to happen to you if you sell your social security number for this? No. But I do think that people should be properly informed of the risks and potential fraud involved and hopefully this article helps with that.
Did you or someone you know give over the keys to their credit to a signup farm? Share your story in the comments.