Common Scams That Are Plaguing Venmo
Venmo is a popular mobile payment service. Account holders use it to transfer funds to others using an ap on their mobile phone. I use it with friends and family to send money for chipping in for pizza, repayment for a purchase, or other personal scenarios. It’s very convenient, and if you use it correctly no charges are incurred by using it. But as with any technological digital convenience dealing with money, there’s always someone looking to use it to take funds that don’t belong to them. Here are three common scams that are plaguing Venmo.
Venmo users are often targets of phishing scams delivered via text message. The text message sender states it is an official Venmo account advertising a job, or that something is wrong with their account. The receiver is encouraged to click on a link to go to the Venmo website and sign in for more information. Except the site is not what it appears, and by signing on you give the receiver your account information which can then be used to make purchases or transfer money out of your account.
Reverse Charges Scam
Many people sell items online using services like Facebook Marketplace or Craig’s List. Someone may contact you to purchase an item and offer to pay via Venmo. After the transaction has been made, and they’ve picked up the item, they call their credit card company and report the card stolen. The charges are reversed, and they have your item.
Accidental Transfer Scam
You notice a sizable chunk of money has been unexpectedly transferred to your Venmo account. While trying to make sense of the situation you get a message from someone you don’t know. They say they made a mistake and ask you to send the money back, providing their Venmo ID. You rationalize it’s easy to mistype someone’s ID, and send the money back. You feel like you’ve done a good deed. A few days later you’re notified the funds were transferred from a stolen credit card and the funds added to your account are removed. The sender had connected a stolen credit card to their account, sent you money, then before you sent money back they replaced the stolen credit card with their personal account. Now they have your money.
How To Avoid Scams
Avoiding Venmo scams boils down to two very simple pieces of advice:
- Always access Venmo from your smart phone ap or the official website (no links!)
- Only send money using Venmo to people you know and trust
Venmo is an incredibly convenient and easy to use tool when utilized as it’s intended. But it can also be used to trick people out of their hard earned cash. Be cautious and be on the look out for the three scams mentioned above. Follow the advice of only using the tool with people you know and trust, and you’ll avoid common scams that are plaguing Venmo.
How about you, Clever Friends? Do you use Venmo? Have you ever been approached by what you think was a scam with Venmo?
Check out additional articles on Clever Dude:
- Scams to Avoid When Buying a Used Car
- The Top 10 Online Scams of the Decade (So Far)
- How to Get Money Back from Western Union Scams