Virgin Mobile USA does not typically offer free top-up cards for use on its preparid phones, warning that sites claiming to offer such cards may be attempting to commit fraud in order to collect the customer's personal information, as of 2015. Some sellers may sell the cards at a price other than face value, though the availability and validity of these listings vary according to the retail platform.
Virgin Mobile USA functions on a prepaid format, wherein customers are able to sign up for coverage without committing to a contract duration and are able to pay a flat base rate for coverage that includes voice minutes, text messages and cellular data. Some plans charge overage fees when a customer exceeds a limitation, such as using more than the plan's data allotment that month, or for making long distance calls to certain countries. Customers are able to use a top-up card to add additional funds to the service account, thus paying for the overage costs or the next month's service plan.
Since this is the primary way for customers to pay for plans, outside of linking a debit or credit card to an online account with the company, some scam sites attempt to phish information by claiming to offer free cards. This promise of free phone coverage typically requires the user to enter personal details, ranging from an email address to the phone account's username and password, and the scam sites do not actually provide any cards. Customers should focus on purchasing items from authorized retailers to avoid falling prey to scams or buying empty cards.