Cash App and Mischief Take Aim at Online Scammers

IRL or online, some stuff's just too weird

If a stranger slinked up to you on a subway platform and asked for $20 in return for his "blessings," well, that would seem ... weird, right?

Of course it would. Most folks would politely demur or run in the opposite direction.

And yet, online thieves use such scenarios all the time. They're more ubiquitous than ever, with 80 percent of consumers targeted by at least one of the scams shown in a campaign breaking today from mobile-payments provider Cash App.

The work from Mischief and director Jeff Low transplants online hoaxes into the physical world. Tagged, "If It's Weird for Real, It's Weird for Real," the approach proves entertaining and informative, reminding users to stay on their guard.

Cash App | Giveaway Scam

Nice stache, not creepy at all.

"This campaign represents our commitment to championing consumer protection," says Catherine Ferdon, head of brand at Cash App. "The online nature of today's most popular scam tactics can make people second guess what's real, but we want to ensure that our users—and the general public—understand the signs to look out for. This campaign encapsulates Cash App's commitment to demystifying scams and empowering users to trust their instincts."

Remember, if someone says they're a customer-service rep and demands personal info, do NOT share one blessed thing:

Cash App | Customer Service Scam

"Even though online scammers are getting more sophisticated, the language they use is still really strange and riddled with red flags," says Mischief associate creative director Craig Shervin.

Example: The notion of "flipping" cash for profit. It's a flipping lie!

Cash App | Cash Flip Scam

"We're pointing out those red flags and hoping the next time people see them, they think, scam!" says David Spradlin, also a Mischief ACD.

Running across social, the commercials rock the agency's signature style. While amusing, they're edgy, too, and that mix memorably drives the brand message.

David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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